CapFriendly is reporting that the Columbus Blue Jackets have signed former 2012 first-round pick Stefan Matteau to a professional tryout agreement. The free-agent forward was selected 29th overall by the New Jersey Devils and bounced around between five different franchises over the course of a decade before he spent last season in Sweden and Germany.
Matteau is returning to a team that he was part of for two seasons from 2019-2021. During that time Matteau didn’t do much when he was with the big club posting just three goals and one assist in 27 NHL games.
Over the course of his seven seasons in the NHL Matteau didn’t contribute much offensively as he posted just six goals and five assists in 92 career NHL games. His AHL numbers are marginally better as his best offensive season came in 2019-20 with the Cleveland Monsters when he posted 12 goals and 16 assists in 50 games.
Matteau will get another chance to earn an NHL job for this upcoming season, something he has had a lot of opportunities to do in the past through various two-way contracts. Teams have always been tantalized with Matteau’s first-round pick pedigree as well as his speed and size, however, the 29-year-old was never able to put it all together and find any sustained success in the NHL.
In Columbus, he should have an opportunity to battle for a spot in the lineup, but would need to show a lot to bounce a young player from the bottom of the Blue Jackets lineup. The likeliest outcome for Matteau will be an AHL contract with the possibility of a recall should a Blue Jackets forward go down with an injury.