After failing to see any time in the NHL last season, Stefan Matteau has settled for an AHL deal this time around. The 25-year old forward has signed a one-year contract with the Cleveland Monsters. Matteau qualified for Group VI unrestricted free agency after playing last season with the Chicago Wolves.
Originally a first-round pick of the New Jersey Devils, Matteau actually jumped directly into the NHL as a teenager. Playing 17 games with the Devils before heading to junior during the 2012-13 season, the big forward seemed to be on track to quickly become a key part of their forward group. Even the next year playing with the Albany Devils things still seemed on the right track, as Matteau scored 26 points in 67 games as one of the youngest players in the AHL. Unfortunately he was unable to ever really take that next step, and found himself shipped to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Devante Smith-Pelly in 2016.
From there, the young forward has found himself in the minor leagues for entire seasons save for eight games with the Vegas Golden Knights in 2017-18. While he is still a decent AHL player he never became the dominant power forward that some believed he could be. Now with just 64 NHL games under his belt and an AHL contract in his pocket, he’ll have to really take another step forward if he’s ever to make it back to the best league in the world.