In the seventh round of the 2019 NHL Draft, the Florida Panthers selected their fifth and final forward of the day.
6’3″, 196 lbs and left-handed, Wedman played for the Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL) during the 2018-19 season. In 66 games, Wedman recorded 40G, 37A, for 77 points.
A year prior (2017-18), he tallied 17G, 30A, and 47 points in 72 games, serving as the team’s alternate captain. In his sophomore season, Wedman registered 6G, 14A, and 20 points in 48 games, helping Seattle win the Ed Chynoweth Cup.
Wedman is regarded as a finisher, someone who has a nose for goal. He’s a player who likes to get in on the scoring action and can score in a number of ways.
Wedman likes to use his large frame to shield the puck from opposing players and use it as a pathway on goal off rushes. He isn’t the fastest of skaters, but by no means is he slow. Matthew has good hands from in tight to pull in pucks from in close and get shots off from odd angles.
Defensively, he isn’t too bad but could use some work to improve his positioning and awareness within his own end. With time, he should develop into a two-way winger.
For the Panthers, this pick was a safe choice to make in the final round of the draft. It certainly wasn’t a home-run selection, but I wouldn’t call it a strike, either.
If Wedman develops into what the Panthers are hoping for, he should serve fine in the AHL. However, if all goes smooth with his development, there’s the possibility that like Meireles, he too could become a fourth-line player in the future.
That’s a wrap! The 2019 NHL Draft has now officially come to a close. Stay tuned for more coverage leading up to July 1st’s free agency. It’s something you won’t want to miss, Panthers fans!