The Golden Knights have signed forward Stefan Matteau to a one-year contract extension that carries an average annual value of $650,000 at the NHL level and a base salary of $110,000 at the AHL level, where Matteau spent most of the 2017-2018 campaign.
The 24-year-old recorded 15 goals and 27 points in 60 regular-season games with the Chicago Wolves, setting career highs in both categories, but added just one assist in three playoff games. Matteau recorded one assist, eight hits and eight shots in eight regular-season games with the Knights.
He managed a 56.56 5v5 Corsi For percentage, but the fact that he played in just eight games with the Knights makes that a skewed result. Plus, he started 63 percent of his shifts in the offensive zone. That being said, his Corsi For percentage ranks first on the Knights among players who competed in at least three regular-season contests.
Matteau is the son of former Rangers legend, Stephane Matteau, who scored the infamous game-winning goal in double overtime of Game 7 against the Devils in the 1994 Eastern Conference Final en route to New York’s first Stanley Cup in 54 years.
Interestingly, it was New Jersey that drafted Stefan with the 29th overall pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, though he was later sent to the Canadiens after parts of three seasons with the Devils (ironically, he was traded for Devante Smith-Pelly, who obviously played a key role in the Capitals’ recent Stanley Cup victory). Vegas then signed Matteau as a free agent last summer.
Matteau brings speed and physicality to the table but hasn’t fully built up his offensive game as of yet, recording just three goals and seven points in 64 regular-season NHL games. He is best suited for a fourth-line role at this point in his career, though Vegas has done an excellent job of getting the most out of underachieving and underestimated players. Even with his speed, it’s still unlikely that Matteau will see increased time with the Knights next season, though this is a solid depth signing by George McPhee.