Anaheim – Matt Coronato will not join the Calgary Flames for their extended run, as one of the club’s most valuable prospects has decided to return for another year of college hockey.
But the 19-year-old Harvard standout made it clear that he had no intention of becoming the next Adam Fox to play anywhere other than Calgary if he was ready to make that jump.
“From the day I was drafted, I was grateful for the draft by Flems,” said Flems ’13th election overall at the Pick’ M Party last summer.
“I’ve learned a lot about them since then and I have no intention other than to play for the Flemish.
“My goal is to feel and get ready for this jump as soon as possible, but at the moment I just want to develop and see where we are next year.”
This is a great opportunity for him to be in Calgary at this time next year, where he will almost certainly end the season with Flames.
Until then, he will be in Boston, where he will be seen creating a great rookie season where the 19-year-old has scored 18 goals and 36 points in 34 games, including an overtime goal to clutch the ECAC. The championship sends his school to the Hockey March Madness Tournament.
Coronato announced his decision to the school and Flame this week, following extensive discussions with all parties involved.
“I’ve been able to have a great time talking to my family and thinking about everything, and we’ve decided that it’s best for me to go back one more year and keep developing,” said Greenlon, NY’s scorer.
“There’s a lot of good resources here and it’s a great place to keep developing, to get stronger and faster to play at the next level.”
The next level is undoubtedly within reach, as he was one of the top freshmen in college hockey, based on a skill that led him to the USHL with 57 goals in 59 games the previous season.
“From a hockey standpoint, this is 1,000 percent accurate, so he’s going back – we support him 100 percent,” said Flems GM Brad Trelewing, who had several discussions with Coronato and his advisers to move forward with his decision.
“Ultimately, he has to make a decision, but we talk about it, and what the good-evil and development team will do with it. Here’s what it looks like”
And it looks like this is an Uber-talented right winger who has not been seen by the organization with an aggressive counterpart since Johnny Goodreau has dominated the same path.
“It’s not ‘if’ he’s coming, it’s ‘if’ he’s coming,” said Trelewing, who on the day of Coronato’s drafting asked if he was confident the player would consider playing in Calgary as opposed to playing outside of a four-year college qualification. And becoming a free agent.
“At the end of the day, you go through it every time and you don’t know 100 percent every time,” he said.
“You have to do your homework and believe what they’re telling you. I’ve had a lot of conversations with Matt and his advisers – and again this week – and that’s not my concern. I fully believe he’ll be on fire.”
“Like every child, the wrong move is just to get him, so you can take the risk. But if they are not ready to play, it is the wrong move for the child and it is a selfish move.”
“You have to do what is right for the baby and in the end it is right for Matt.”
This is a sensitive issue in Calgary. The Flames drafted Fox in 2016, only to force Calgary to trade his rights before starring him at Harvard before it was clear that the New Yorker would otherwise play his four years and sign with his favorite Rangers.
Last year, Fox won the Norris Trophy and Busy’s goal is whenever he touches Pak in Saddle Dome.
Coronato will join the fire for his first development camp this summer, where staff will be able to further help him prepare for his inevitable next step.
“This is going to be my first time in Calgary, so I’m really excited to be there in mid-July,” said Coronato, who will then get another crack at the World Junior Tournament scheduled for August in Edmonton.
“Excited. It was really hard to cancel. We were that group together for a month and only got to play one match. Really disappointing. That said, my first international experience was really special.”
Coronato will not be eligible to play in the Christmas edition, giving him the opportunity to focus on his year with Crimson.
“There was definitely a learning curve at first, but as the season went on I started to gain confidence and comfort,” he said.
“It helped to play with great players throughout the year.”
Trelewing and his staff have kept a close eye on Coronato all season and continue to believe that he can become an elite NHL player in due course.
The 5-foot-10, 183-pound right winger Trelewing said, “He’s the one with everything, combined with a dog-on-a-sister mentality,” who played and scored six points in two games. ECAC at Tourney
“He has a scorer mentality, a high hockey wit and skill, he’s super-competitive, he plays in every situation. That’s what we saw when we drafted him and what we saw this year.
“He had a good start and a great finish. He was an influential player in the ECAC tournament. Now it is a critical summer for him in terms of training.”