2015-16 Team: Belmont Hill
League: NE Prep (ISL)
Hometown: Marshfield, Mass.
College Commitment: Yale
The converted forward has always been among the best '98s in the Massachusetts District. A senior captain at Belmont Hill, he led his team deep into the New England Prep Hockey Large Tournament both of the last two seasons.
Some might expect a converted forward to play an offensive-minded game on the blue line, but Matthews is quite the contrary to that. The best way to describe Matthews is that he's solid, reliable and makes very few mistakes. He's not flashy. He just goes about his job. Having said that, the Yale commit can still contribute offensively.
An athletic defenseman, Matthews skates well. He plays with his head up, makes smart, simple outlet passes and can impact the breakout in a positive manner. He has good feet and does a good job with the puck. He rarely makes a bad decision with the puck. He has a good first step.
Matthews does a good job containing and staying with opposing forwards. He blocks a lot of shots, gets into passing and shooting lanes and has a good stick. He's still learning to play the game defensively and has the potential to become an even better blue liner.
He hasn't been drafted into the USHL, and likely will be selected in May's USHL Phase II Draft. Expect him to spend 2016-17 in the USHL or BCHL before heading to Yale for the 2017-18 season.
Draft Projection: He's not going to be a draft pick that fans of an organization will get overly excited about, but he's a smooth, steady defender that could develop under Keith Allain at Yale. If he gets drafted, it will likely be in the final round. He'll be selected as a long-term project that a team would watch and see how he progresses in college.