Niagara North Stars
A fantastic defense oriented centreman, Matthew Coates brings a complete 200 foot game. Coates thrives thanks to his defensive play, which helps him compare a bit to someone like Patrice Bergeron. Coates packs decent speed, which can be best seen on his relentless backchecking ability. Coates has a great defensive mind, being able to read the play very well. Coates is also an extremely dangerous player in the offensive zone, as he hounds the puck and is constantly on it, displaying a high compete level and high tenacity. Coates’ tenacity plays into his physical game as well, where he can be seen using his larger frame on a regular basis. This defensive oriented style, coupled with his physical game and high tenacity help him compare a bit to someone like Blake Coleman or Adam Lowry as well. Offensively, Coates can be seen floating around the net front area when his team has the puck, setting up an effective screen. Coates features on the team's penalty killing unit, and is so heavily relied upon that he can be seen playing during the crunch time at the end of a game. Coates is a very quiet player that leads more by example through his focus and hard working mentality, making him an excellent role model to have on a team. Coates is currently looking to improve on his offensive capabilities further, through his shot and getting a quick release, which will help him become more of a two-way player. With the 2022 OHL draft approaching, Coates could likely see himself going in the middle to later rounds due to a lower offensive production, but could end up becoming a diamond in the rough thanks to his defensive game. In the OHL, Coates could end up featuring as more of a bottom 6 type of player in a shutdown role, making him a great pick for a team if he falls to them. Expect to see his name called on draft day.