Stefan Matteau is 21 years old and has 24 NHL games on his resume, but he thinks this should be the season he earns a regular spot with New Jersey.
“I worked hard this summer and with the changes that happened in the offseason it’s definitely a big camp for me,” Matteau said prior to Monday’s preseason contest, per NJ.com.
“I feel it’s more my job to lose rather than… It’s obviously not going to be given to me, but I feel ready to make the jump.”
The Devils already showed some faith in him this summer by agreeing to a two-year, one-way contract that comes with a $612,500 annual cap hit. However, the Devils have 12 forwards inked to one-way deals and that doesn’t include top prospects Pavel Zacha and John Quenneville or tryout forwards Tyler Kennedy and Lee Stempniak. In other words, Matteau still has significant competition for that roster spot.
Bench boss John Hynes said Matteau has a “real shot,” but he needs to see him demonstrate more consistency.
“It’s a big camp for him,” Hynes said. “He’s a young guy that is raw but he’s showing that he has NHL size, an NHL body, good hands and good hockey sense. Where does that package fit on a nightly basis?”
As for Monday’s game…