The Nashville Predators have signed another prospect, inking Jack Matier to a three-year, entry-level contract. Matier was one of the team’s 2021 draft picks and is currently playing for the Ottawa 67’s of the OHL.
Matier, 18, was the 124th overall selection in this year’s draft, nabbed mostly for his size and defensive ability. The 6’4″ Sault Ste. Marie native still doesn’t have a single goal in his 58-game career for Ottawa, and registered just nine points in the 2019-20 season. Still, there’s obviously enough to like about his defensive game for the Predators to hand Matier an entry-level deal this early.
(Update: Matier scored two goals and registered an assist today for Ottawa in their afternoon tilt against the Oshawa Generals. Not a bad follow-up to signing your first NHL contract.)
As with other prospects signed this quickly, Matier’s contract will not actually kick in for this season. Instead, it will slide forward for at least one year–and likely two–meaning he won’t need to negotiate anything new for quite some time. The focus now is on his development at the OHL level and improving his skating enough so that when he’s eligible to make the jump to pro hockey, he’s ready.