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2019 Draft Countdown No. 9: Matt Boldy

Welcome to Canucks Army’s 2019 Draft Countdown. Over the next four weeks leading up to the draft, we’ll be rounding up scouting reports, quotes, and videos about our Top-100 prospects available. Here is an aggregated profile on Matt Boldy. 

Matt Boldy

Date of Birth: April 5th, 2001

Nation: USA

Position: LW

Shoots: L

Height: 6’2″

Weight: 195 lbs

Matt Boldy has consistently been in every scout’s top 10 rankings all season long, he is what he is and that is a solid all around left winger who can use his big body to win board battle and is able to find openings in a defence to let go his powerful and accurate snapshot. Boldy played with the United States National Team Development Program this season, where he scored 33 goals and 81 points in 64 games with the USNTDP.

Matt Boldy stands at 6’2″ and fills out that frame with about 195 pounds of all-American hockey talent. He looks like a giant when playing with Cole Caufield and yet still finds a way to look very fluid with his skating, this is very noticeable when Boldy makes the snap decision to accelerate up ice for an offensive zone rush, his first three steps are very powerful and it’s clear that his stride is something he has worked on to bring his game to the next level.

The offensive ability is where he does excel and though a lot of people have made him out to be the big power forward that NHL teams desire, I think he is very much more of a shot first skilled winger. He has a quick trigger shot that he loves to fire from the right side. The net front presence was something that he wasn’t necessarily asked to do on the powerplay this year but I do see the chance of him being in that centre ice “bumper” position on an NHL powerplay.

Here’s what some of the top scouts are saying about Boldy.

Silky, silky, silky. Boldy loves to use his teammates and takes pride in his soft touch and exceptional vision. Owns a deadly release to compliment the play creation. Acts a chameleon by providing exactly what is needed depending on his mates or the situation. Off to Boston College in the fall. There are two aspects of his shot which impress me the most. Firstly, is his ability to release the puck with very little pullback – thus offering less time for a netminder to become set and predict the target. This is a common-theme with deadly finishers. You don’t need the heaviest shot if you can get it off your blade with a quick twitch.
Cam Robinson, DobberProspects

When Boldy is competing, he’s a force because of his size and skill level. That compete level wasn’t always consistent, but there were some times it looked very good. Ultimately, through his ups and downs, the growth spurt and his time at the NTDP, you have a 6-foot-2 forward with incredible hands and vision, who can score goals and whose skating has improved to an average pro level. In terms of pure talent, he’s top five in the class. Boldy does have warts in his profile, but I still feel confident projecting him as a potential top-line forward in the NHL.
Corey Pronman, TheAthletic

As the scouts are saying, Boldy has great hands, he can dangle with the best of them as that’s great to see when you talk about a guy who is one of the bigger players in the draft and likely projects with one of the highest floors in the draft while still having a ceiling of being a top line left winger.

Here’s Boldy using those “silky” hands that Cam Robinson was talking about, as he makes a beautiful move on the boards and then is still aware to transition from a deke to a tape to tape cross ice pass for a great scoring chance.

Matt Boldy had a great finish to his USNTDP career and will be a top 10 pick in this year’s NHL entry draft. The thing he wants to work on the most is to develop his skating, I spoke with Matt a couple weeks ago on the Canucks Conversation podcast and he mentioned that growing up he always needed to work on his skating. He has come a long way and you can see the difference in his stride from his time on the U17 team to this year on the U18s.

Matt obviously had some great production in his draft year and even stacks up with some current NHL players who have came through the USNTDP.

Boldy is likely to be selected in the top 10 at this years draft and with the abundance of centres and other great wingers like Vasili Podkolzin and Cole Caufield in his range it will be a lot of fun to see which team falls in love with a player like Boldy.

In the end you are getting a kid who loves the game and his teammates had nothing but great things to say about Matt as a person as well. I’ll attach the links to the conversations where we talked a lot about Matt and some other USNTDP players.

Read also: From the community, full scouting report on Matthew Boldy (Ryan Biech)

Matt Boldy/Cole Caufield Interview

Apple Podcast Link
Spotify Link

Pete Krupsky (Play by play voice of the USNTDP)

Apple Podcast Link
Spotify Link

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  • So, I want to know how he compares to Virtanten during his draft year? I know Virtanen scored more and Boldy has shown more play making ability, how much did Boldy benefit from his ultra-skilled teammates? A lot of the things said here reminds me of Virtanen minus elite skating.

      • Thanks PV. So, Boldy has hockey IQ. I was cleaning out my old hockey magazines last weekend and put aside the draft guides. I thought it was interesting to look at where these players were in their draft year and then think about where they became as players. I was shocked how so many of the listed players were written up as potential difference makers but are now depth players in the league or ones I had forgotten. I think with Boldy, I really wonder what his skill sets are and how will they apply to an NHL team. I don’t think he is a bad pick, it was just that I saw so much of what was written about him was similar to other players in the draft. If not Virtanen, who would you think is a good comparable?
        Thanks again.

    • Boldy, uh, compares nothing at all like Virtanen other than they are both wingers with good shots who play ice hockey.

      Jake’s strengths: Skating, physical play, shoots hard and often

      Jake’s weaknesses: Tunnel vision, below-average puck skills, below-average passing skills, frequently lacks urgency/intensity

      Boldy’s strengths: Elite puck skills, high end vision, passing skills, and hockey IQ, strong board play/cycle game.

      Boldy’s weaknesses: Average top-end speed, sometimes lacks intensity

    • I wonder if Matthew Tkachuck might be a better compatible? With the cup finals and size and physicality this year being so important, I wonder if he goes higher than expected?

    • I agree with all the previous posts about the differences between boldy and virt but will also add the following.
      Virtanen is a rush scorer and even though it has improved year to year he has a tendency to play safe circling back rather than engaging on the for-check, letting his line mates try to retrieve pucks, you won’t see that from Boldy. A lot of Boldy’s game is driving to the net another thing Virtanen his just not been able to do in the NHL. Boldy can make plays and score on the powerplay while Virt will never be a good PP guy unless he’s a trigger guy for a really good playmaker.

      Actually the key difference is Boldy has a floor of a top 6 forward while at this point Virtanen’s ceiling is likely a 2nd liner. Boldy will have an ability to improve a lot faster that Virtanen has thus far in his career as well.

  • Is there a bit of a lukewarm reaction to his skating? Players seem to be able to improve on that but often it can be a bit of a point of concern as well.
    The Canucks have a lot of speedsters so if they select Boldy I hope they are confident that he can keep up.

    • I have read that his skating is average at best. I agree with you that some skating deficiencies can be improved, but I have read anything about Boldy’s specific issues. Not sure if they are strength, or more structurally related.

      • the reports of issues with his skating are from the begining of the season. His skating has vastly improved, he has great agility and a good top speed but like most players his age he could use more explosiveness in his first three strides. That’s not saying his first 3 strides are not good just that it is the part of his skating that should be improved on. He is willing to skate into traffic and has an ability to make plays there as well which you don’t see with bottom six forwards. He goes to the net without hesitation and has even though he is a little more of a playmaker he has a great shot. He has been referred to as a swiss army knife for good reason as he can utilize his skills to excel in any game situation. Combine all this with the size and he is a very good pick with very high upside that would look great on either of our top lines.

  • My hope is that one of Bouldy, Cozens or Dach falls to 10. If so, you bolster the forward ranks with a big body. If not, the Canucks should trade down, pick up assets and draft a defenceman.

  • Too much hype and #fakenews about the draft lol… we are picking tenth, it’s a total non issue being that low at your own draft prty… here’s a list of tenth picks since 2009…

    2008 Hodgson
    2009 Paajarvi-Svensson
    2010 McIlrath
    2011 Brodin
    2012 Koekkoek
    2013 Nichushkin
    2014 Ritchie
    2015 Rantanen
    2016 Jost
    2017 Tippett

    Other than Rantanen it’s all plugs, tweeners and busts. Nothing to see here folks, move along now, the dial will not be moved at ten lol!

    • Every draft is different and has different tiers of talent. This draft is relatively flat from 5 to around 12, which is unusual. You are free to take your own advice and ignore the draft, but past picks at a specific number do not dictate the talent available at present. Sorry.

    • It’s sad but true. The 10th overall pick is far from a sure bet. It’s why I was frustrated when the Canucks went on a late season hot streak late last season. At least one good player will be available. Hopefully Benning picks well.

    • Looking at the 10th pick like that is pretty reductionist. If you look at the 9th-12th picks as a bit more holistic of the range of outcomes, over the years from 2003-2016, you can see that about 1/2 of those picks are, generally, good NHL players, not just “plugs”.

      • No, it’s realist dude, it is what it is tweeners, plugs and busts… you pick tenth it’s irrelavant who went 9th,11th 12th etc tenth is tenth, sorry if it ruins your draft day in front of the tv but it is what it is… a non event for Canucks fans – unless Benning trades up lol

  • I’ve been sold on Boldy for a long time at number 10 if he’s still available. Benning has always drafted a different player than the one I’ve favoured. It’s mostly been for the best. In the last 3 drafts I have wanted Tkachuck, Glass and Wahlstrom.

    • Boeser, Tkachuck, Glass (Petey was my #2), Dobson… lol 1 of the last 4…

      I’m been sold on Boldy as well for a few months based on the players I see realistically still being there at 10. I would have to give it a lot of thought if Dach or Cozens where still there though. Turcotte and Byram won’t be there but I think I would take them over Boldy.

    • That’s funny as I’ve found the same thing; I wanted Sergachev, Vilardi, and Dobson. That’s why he does the drafting and not me I guess, and I’m willing to give him a pass on Juolevi because we haven’t seen the best of him yet.

      • My picks, as posted on reddit were
        2014 – Larkin and Pastranak
        2015 – Konecny
        2016 – Tkachuk
        2017 – trade up for Heiskenen

        and that’s why I am the great, original Green Bastard. I should be a GM but I couldn’t take the pay cut lol.

        • Hahaha. You charge $5 a bj but you’d have us believe you’d have to take a pay cut? lol. That’s no more believable than your Reddit predictions. lol

  • No, actually it’s a brain-dead form of analysis. All of those drafts had very good players available in the top 15.

    Also, this isn’t being billed as your average draft for depth. Look at 2018 and 2015. There’s an abundance of talent available at 10th.

    2015 the top 9 was completely stacked. Available at 10 Rantanen, Debrusk, Barzal, Connor, Chabot, and Boeser

    2018 had Bouchard, Whalstrom, and Dobson available at 10th. Ty Smith was still there also