Matthew Poitras – Guelph Storm – Player Profile

Matthew Poitras of the Guelph Storm. Photo courtesy of OHL Images.
HTWTDOBPOSSHOOTSOHL DRAFTNHLCSCOUNTRY
5’11”170Mar 10, 2004CRight12th – 2020A Prospect NovemberCanada
SEASONLEAGUETEAMGPGAPTSPIM
2018-2019Under-15Whitby Wildcats16861439
2019-2020Under-16Whitby Wildcats3626426829
2020-2021OHLDID NOT PLAY00000

The missed season of 2020-2021 didn’t prevent NHL Central Scouting from ranking Guelph Storm’s Matthew Poitras as an A Prospect on their preliminary rankings. An A ranking is reserved for potential first round picks and Poitras was just one of two Ontario Hockey League players with an A ranking. Now, this is just my opinion, and it is early, but that will likely change mainly because there were no eyes on the OHL last season because of the pandemic. Well, there was no season.

Don’t be fooled by the lack of production so far in this OHL season. There is so much to like about Poitras’ game and sooner or later he is going to break out.

One of the first things you’ll notice about Poitras is his work ethic. He has an internal engine that just will not stop or pause. His ‘I will not be outworked’ mentality is hard to match. He goes into every battle with sheer determination and a will to win. That bodes well for Poitras, but he isn’t without talent.

Poitras is an excellent skater with very good speed, excellent mobility and superb edgework. With the puck on his stick, he has a ‘computer processor between the ears’ able to survey the ice with his excellent vision and make decisions in the blink of an eye. But he is also able to buy time and space for his teammates by maintaining possession be simply beating the opposition with his shiftiness to create space. To put it simply, he makes everyone around him better.

While Poitras is first and foremost a playmaker, he will not shy away from taking the shot if he deems it to be the best opportunity for his team. He puts a lot into his shot and he can get it off quickly and on target, but that’s not to say his accuracy isn’t a work in progress. While getting it on the 4 x 6-foot cage is a plus, too many times it’s in the goaltender’s chest and easily absorbed. Improving on his accuracy will allow him to pick holes in the goaltender. But it’s not just about picking corners. Shooting with a purpose, low and along the ice and into the pads for example, to create second chance opportunities via rebounds or dirty goals via goal mouth scrambles would be a benefit.

Known for being a two-way pivot, let’s start with the good. When Poitras gets the puck on his stick in his own zone, it’s one-and-done for the opposition. He transitions to offense as quick as anyone and he usually takes it right into the offensive zone.

Poitras has shown that he is also capable of breaking up plays with his stick and turning the other way. However, he doesn’t show consistency while defending. That is something to watch for as the becomes more accustomed to the OHL – seeing improvement as the season progresses. His positioning and play without the puck is kind of sporadic.

I think Poitras will top out as a second line center at the NHL level if he puts all the pieces together. He is definitely worth keeping an eye on as the season moves forward.

I wouldn’t bet against him.

HOCKEY CANADA RECOGNIZES 13 OHL PLAYERS INVITED TO 2021 NATIONAL SUMMER UNDER-18 TEAM DEVELOPMENT CAMP

CALGARY, Alta. – Hockey Canada has recognized 13 Ontario Hockey League players as part of a group of 45 players invited to attend Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team Development Camp at Seven Chiefs Sportsplex on the Tsuut’ina Nation near Calgary from July 25th to Aug 4th. Sarnia Sting head coach Alan Letang, Ottawa 67’s goaltending coach Charles McTavish and Kingston Frontenacs equipment manager Chris Cook have also been recognized, along with Owen Sound Attack therapist Andy Brown, North Bay Battalion therapist Andrew Sachkiw and Guelph Storm mental performance consultant Dr. Ashwin Patel.

One OHL goaltender, four defencemen and eight forwards were recognized as invitees to the 11-day camp. Players will be split into two teams, Red and White, and participate in practices and intrasquad games, including combined practices and intrasquad games with Canada’s National Junior Team on Aug. 2nd and 3rd.

“This stage of our Summer Showcase is about bringing together the top under-18 players in Canada to work and learn from an elite-level coaching staff, giving them the necessary skills for their hockey development to grow and succeed,” said Alan Millar, director of player personnel for Hockey Canada. “We have an opportunity to connect with the players through on- and off-ice sessions to give them the tools that will only enhance their skill set as they advance through our program and prepare for the upcoming season.”

Letang, who was appointed head coach of the Sting late last month after serving behind the Attack bench, will return to Canada’s coaching staff. Letang won a gold medal as an assistant coach with Canada’s National Junior Team at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship and, as a player, helped Canada’s National Men’s Team to a 1998 Spengler Cup championship and won a bronze medal at the 2006 Deutschland Cup.

The camp is typically a stepping stone in evaluating and selecting Canada’s roster for the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, but Canada will not participate this year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The focus will now turn to the 2022 IIHF U18 World Championship next spring, where Canada will look to defend their gold medal after claiming the top prize at this year’s tournament in Texas.

OHL Players Invited to Canada’s National Summer Under-18 Team Development Camp

Goaltenders:
Domenic DiVincentiis (North Bay Battalion)

Defencemen:
Jorian Donovan (Hamilton Bulldogs)
Donovan McCoy (Sudbury Wolves)
Ty Nelson (North Bay Battalion)
Spencer Sova (Erie Otters)

Forwards:
Sam Alfano (Peterborough Petes)
Pano Fimis (Niagara IceDogs)
David Goyette (Sudbury Wolves)
Cedrick Guindon (Owen Sound Attack)
Hunter Haight (Barrie Colts)
Paul Ludwinski (Kingston Frontenacs)
Bryce McConnell-Barker (Soo Greyhounds)
Matthew Poitras (Guelph Storm)

Coaches:
Assistant Coach – Alan Letang (Sarnia Sting)
Goaltending Coach – Charles McTavish (Ottawa 67’s)
Equipment Manager – Chris Cook (Kingston Frontenacs)
Therapist – Andy Brown (Owen Sound Attack)
Therapist – Andrew Sachkiw (North Bay Battalion)
Mental Performance Consultant – Dr. Ashwin Patel (Guelph Storm)

About the Ontario Hockey League
The Ontario Hockey League is a proud member of the Canadian Hockey League which is the world’s largest development hockey league with 60 teams in nine Canadian provinces and four American states. In addition to the OHL, the CHL is made up of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. The CHL supplies more players to the National Hockey League and U SPORTS than any other league.