Auston Matthews comparables

Discussion in 'The History of Hockey' started by authentic, Oct 10, 2018.

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  1. authentic

    authentic Registered User

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    What historic player does he remind you of most in terms of play style? Will he be more comparable to Forsberg or Malkin throughout his career, or Tavares and Sundin, or maybe somewhere in between?
     
    Last edited by moderator Johnny Engine: Oct 10, 2018
  2. Johnny Engine

    Johnny Engine Moderator

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    Mod note: Let's keep this in the realm of history and not speculation.
    - JE
     
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  3. authentic

    authentic Registered User

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    Yeah sorry I was just curious what the members of this board thought but it doesn't look like anyone is interested anyway, fair enough.
     
  4. GlitchMarner

    GlitchMarner Formerly 29GoalHoglund

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    Well, I posted this thread, but it had to be with calibre rather than playing style...

    https://hfboards.mandatory.com/thre...libre-of-centre-will-matthews-become.2550423/

    I wrote: "I think he'll fall into the Sakic tier if he fulfills his potential or the Tavares tier at worst."

    Still stand by this, although now I'm really starting to think he may even surpass the Sakic tier in an absolute best case scenario (I wouldn't bet on it).

    As for style: His shooting is reminiscent of Stamkos' when he was younger (absolutely deadly shot/release). He's kind of like Sundin in that he uses his frame to his advantage but isn't physical. He's a bit like Tavares with the stickhandling/coordnation.

    Maybe somewhat of a Lecavalier/Stamkos hybrid?
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
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  5. Johnny Engine

    Johnny Engine Moderator

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    I remember in his rookie season, the TSN panel brought up Phil Esposito, and while there are way too many reasons they're not alike, there is something to be said for a big heavy body that takes up tons of space, but still does its damage with deft little stick movements and pinpoint accurate laser shots instead of just bearing down on the puck the way Sundin did. Given the usual quality of TV intermission shows, I doubt they were saying much more than "we saw him score goals close to the net".

    No worries, a thread about comparables will be just fine.
     
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  6. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    To be honest, I have very high hopes and I'd be rather disappointed with a LeCavalier Stamkos hybrid, a Sundin or a Tavares. Sakic caliber would satisfy me.

    His long-term offensive abilities following that magical age 21 to 24 goal-scoring Peak that Elite and or generational players tend to have, is difficult to project. But I think that we may be looking at something in the Joe sakic or Steve Yzerman or Bryan trottier range.I'm not quite sure how mature trottier's game was at a very young age, but I think Matthews is more mature than Sakic or Yzerman at the same age. He really has that feel of "a player you win with".
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
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  7. authentic

    authentic Registered User

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    Only difference being that Stamkos' main weapon is his one time slapper, Matthews uses his snap/wrister almost exclusively, although Stamkos was deadly with that type of shot as well. Beyond that I think you're right on with your comparables. I was thinking he was somewhat of a Sakic/Sundin hybrid who protected and handled the puck downlow and along the boards like Jagr. His shot seems to be quite unique though, the way he drags it and whips it into the net. It's like a half snap half wrist shot where he changes his angle and release point in the blink of an eye, I'll call it a whip shot. I too believe he'll end up being close to as good as the best of this era, much like Sakic.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2018
  8. The Panther

    The Panther Registered User

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    Matthews' shot is very much the product of this era of the 'whippy' stick! (I don't mean that as an insult; it's a humdinger of a release, but I don't think it would have been quite possible with the older sticks.)

    He also seems to have great hand/eye co-ordination, and a good general hockey IQ.

    I dunno, it's hard to think of a close comparable. His release is a bit Brett Hull, and his way of skating around the offensive zone is a bit Luc Robitaille-ish, but smoother.
     
  9. ehhedler

    ehhedler Registered User

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    Stylewise a bit Mike Modano a bit Mats Sundin, perhaps. Forsberg comparison seems daft.

    We’ll see this season what goal/assist ratio he’ll put up, but so far it’s kinda Stamkos-ish.
     
  10. Johnny Engine

    Johnny Engine Moderator

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    This is a good point, and a large part of why his "bulldozer with a precision jigsaw attached to the front" game is so of this time.
    Mats Sundin is coming up a lot in this thread, and it's hard to imagine Sundin carving a path behind the net on his backhand, or loading up for that "ping" slapper against Ottawa if he had a pool noodle for a stick. Sundin's own stick, of course, was a throwback in its own time, with the straight blade and all.
    Perhaps a 6'5" Swede with brains and talent coming out his rapidly declining hair follicles would look a lot more like Auston Matthews if he had to learn and develop his game in this era.
     
  11. ehhedler

    ehhedler Registered User

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  12. VanIslander

    VanIslander Don't waste my time

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    Like Sundin, he has size, looks for the pass but more often than not takes the shot after using great hands to move into scoring position (e.g., curl and drag), his skating looking clumbersome but pretty centered and decent enough. Sundinlike in many ways.

    Like Nieuwendyk, he is more of a shooter than a passer, with a top shelf sniper ability and maneuverability through traffic, clutch scoring by individual effort. Joe started his NHL career with back-to-back 50 goal seasons, and I remember how much he eagerly wanted the leader role, mature and talking team, the demeanor of Auston. Nieuwendyk in many ways.

    I suspect Matthews would be happy to have the sort of career that the two HHOFers have had, even if his fan base reaches for the farthest stars in their comparisons.
     
  13. tony d

    tony d Registered User Sponsor

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    Modano or Sakic for me.
     
  14. LeTigre

    LeTigre Registered User

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    Alexei Yashin, style wise.
     
  15. authentic

    authentic Registered User

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    Not to critique your analysis too much but have you watched him this season? His skating is amazing, no other way to put it. He's fast, agile, and extremely strong on his skates.
     
  16. BigBadBruins7708

    BigBadBruins7708 Registered User

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    granted its winger vs center, but its Iginla for me.

    Big body forward that uses his size well. Elite goal scorer, not really a facilitator.

    He doesnt play as heavy of a game as Iginla did yet. Iginla was much more in the power forward mold where Matthews is in the big bodied forward mold
     
  17. Monsieur Gustave H

    Monsieur Gustave H Coming Home

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    Tavares is probably the most similar in the way they both like to play within an arms reach of defenders and work in tight spaces around the net. They both rely on compete level and IQ more so than skills. Tavares spends more time behind the net though, where as Matthews hangs out in front of the net.

    His combination size, unique release and appreciation of off-the-puck passing lanes makes him a difficult comparison historically. Centers typically aren't such goal-heavy scorers.
     
  18. Stephen

    Stephen Registered User

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    I don't think he's anything like Sundin at all stylistically. Sundin was a skill guy who evolved into a big, stiff body power forward to withstand that era's physicality. Very straight ahead, kind of rudimentary game in comparison. NHLers in general are so much more 360 degrees now, and Matthews is a perfect example.
     
  19. Einzakin

    Einzakin Registered User

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    I entirely disagree, Matthews relies on his skill much more. He has the IQ and compete level at times but his puck skills and shot are off the shorts.
     
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  20. Stephen

    Stephen Registered User

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    I think Matthews looks like a cross between Crosby and Malkin, and his floppy stick feels like the next generation mechanics of a Phil Kessel wrister.
     
  21. ted1971

    ted1971 History Of Hockey

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    I don't think that he has Trottier's defensive abilities.
     
  22. seventieslord

    seventieslord Student Of The Game

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    Did Bryan trottier have trottier's defensive abilities when he was 21?
     
  23. Canadiens1958

    Canadiens1958 Registered User

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    Denis Potvin was a difference maker.
     
  24. ted1971

    ted1971 History Of Hockey

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    What does that have to do with Trottier or Potvin?
     
  25. ted1971

    ted1971 History Of Hockey

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    He did.
     

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