Red Wings of Tomorrow is assessing every prospect in the Detroit Red Wings system and what they are projecting to be in the future. We’ll be looking at the strengths and weaknesses of their game, as well as what the future holds for them as they advance through the Detroit organization. Today, we look at defenseman Tnias Mathurin
How Acquired: 137th overall pick (5th round) in 2022 Draft
2021-22 Stats: (GP-G-A-Pts) 44-3-12-15 (North Bay Batallion, OHL)
Contract Status: Unsigned
Anticipated 2022-23 Team: North Bay Batallion (OHL)
When Tnias Mathurin takes to the ice, he likes to be kicking it old school. His game is about playing responsibly in his own end, taking care of the shutdown role and being a physical presence between the boards.
At 6-foot-3, 201 pounds, Mathurin, 18, already is equipped with the physical size of an imposing NHL defender.
“Big D-man out of North Bay,” was how Red Wings director of amateur scouting Kris Draper began his assessment of the rearguard for the Ontario Hockey League’s North Bay Batallion. “I was able to see him quite a bit in the playoffs.
“We like his size. He moves well for a big man and is a pretty athletic defenseman.”
While defense is his forte, Mathurin does display some offensive instincts. Interestingly, his 15 points last season as an OHL rookie weren’t far off the 19 points he gathered the previous season with the Ajax/Pickering Raiders AAA U16 squad. Mathurin was captain of that club. Mathurin was also +17, an impressive number for an OHL rookie. In 13 playoff games, he dished out four assists.
He displays vision in the offensive zone, and makes an astute first pass. Mathurin shows some zip in his shot and displays a knack for getting into shooting lanes.
“He’s got a good stick, and he’s pretty mobile defender,” Draper said.
Estimated Time of Arrival in Detroit
Mathurin, who was ranked 126th overall among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting presents an interesting case study for the Red Wings. While the club is currently deep in defensive prospects from Simon Edvinsson to William Wallinder and Shai Buium, there aren’t a plethora of old-style, stay-at-home types who are capable of delivering physical punishment as their forte.
That certainly offers the potential for him to find a place within the club’s defensive prospect pecking order.
The Red Wings will have to make their mind up quickly on whether Mathurin fits into their plans. All CHL draft picks must be signed by June 1 of the year following their draft year. Otherwise, they go back into the draft pool.
If Detroit does opt to sign him, look for Mathurin to be turning pro in time for the 2024-25 season.