With their second pick in the fourth round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, the Nashville Predators selected defender Jack Matier.
The 6’4” blueliner was supposed to play his sophomore season with the OHL’s Ottawa 67’s in 2020-21, but that was canceled due to COVID-19. In the prior year, he recorded just nine assists in 56 games. Matier’s only competitive action this year was at the U18 World Junior Championship, where he notched one assist for Canada in seven games.
Unranked on my final draft board, Matier has a ways to go to round out his game, and there’s no question losing this past OHL season was a setback for him. For now, he’s about as defensive as they come. He handles the puck well and doesn’t commit tons of careless mistakes, but his outlet passes are rarely risky, and he will be the last skater to lead a rush up the ice. He lacks an above-average skating gear and needs to work on leveraging his big frame in puck retrieval and winning physical one-on-one battles.
All statistics are courtesy of eliteprospects.com.