The often forgotten member of the USNTDP, Boldy is really good at everything. He isn’t the best in the draft at any one skill, but he doesn’t have any glaring weakness. A complete player that is adaptable to any play style and any line mate. Goal-scorer, play-maker, leader. Boldy is a true do-it-all winger.
Name: Matthew Boldy
Date of Birth: April 5, 2001
Nationality (Place of Birth): American (Millis, MA, USA)
The above spider graph, courtesy of Kyle Pereira of Puck77, displays the available data from Will Scouch. As shown above, the one area that Boldy struggles a bit is in his GF% Relative, which accounts for the goals that he is a factor on relative to is his teammates. One thing that could explain this is the fact that Boldy plays on an outstanding team that is stacked upfront with the likes of Hughes, Turcotte, Zegras, et al. Excelling at even strength point production, Boldy has shown the ability to score in all situations, not relying on the power play to produce points.
Boldy is a good skater in most senses. He has above average top-speed, good edges and a decent first step. On the technical side, he could clean his stride up to improve his acceleration but his skating is by no means a major weakness, although it may be the one thing holding him back from breaking into elite territory. Improving his first step quickness and acceleration could make Boldy one of the best players in this draft. Boldy takes good lines into the offensive zone, reliably creating offensive zone entries at will. The American winger is consistent in his effort and knows where to be and when to be there. He very seldom has a bad game because he is such a diverse player. Whether he has to use his goal scoring or play-making, he has the rare ability to adapt to the situation. In the video below, Boldy is able to receive a pass in his feet, recover it and then cut back by the defender before putting it in the back of the net.
This was Matthew Boldy’s goal from a few days ago, while I was there. This was a great move in tight to create some open space. pic.twitter.com/lMK5oaFlBO
— Spencer (@_Boqvist) March 25, 2019
Tweet courtesy of @_Boqvist
Offensively silky smooth, Boldy has good hands having shown the ability to stick handle in a phone booth at times. He is an underrated passer with solid vision, able to find teammates coming into the zone late or driving to the net. Boldy can out the puck on a tee for a one time shot. On the power play he moves fluidly through the zone. He does his best work from the half-wall and the high slot. This allows him to open up to the puck carrier for a one-timer. If the puck doesn’t come to him in his wheel house, he often moves towards the middle of the ice, towards the slot, drawing defenders in before unleashing his best tool. His shot. Heavy and accurate, he gets it off quickly. Able to shoot from a number of positions, he does an excellent job at identifying the open spots on the ice and shooting the puck from there. His accuracy is outstanding which has paid off as he’s become more of a shooter this season.
On the defensive end of the ice, his hockey IQ takes over and Boldy does an excellent job at supporting his defence below the dots. He’s made a lot of progress in his own end going from a player that a coach would worry about in his own end to a player that can be relied upon on the penalty kill. He uses his size to box out players along the boards gaining puck position. Boldy does a good job at regaining possession of the puck and working his way out of the defensive zone. Making crisp passes out of the zone, Boldy usually makes the smart, safe play in the defensive end.
Prior to the season, Matthew Boldy was a projected first round pick, ranked anywhere from 14 to 29 by most major outlets. He began his season with a great performance in the USA Hockey All-American Prospect game. Picking up two goals, the second to tie the game, and an assist on the game winning goal, Boldy showed that amongst the best US-born prospects, he was a force.
Video courtesy of USA Hockey Youtube channel
Boldy spent time this season with multiple centers. He was truly the Jack-of-all-trades for the NTDP. Knowing that he would be used flexibly throughout the lineup, Boldy was set on improving in the one area that he could regardless of the line he was on, his defensively play. Going into the year a a liability, Boldy was steadfast in wanting to prove that he could be a useful asset on the defensive end of the ice.
Developing in the Shadows
Matthew Boldy seemed to play on almost every line. Spending time on the wing of Hughes, Turcotte, Zegras and John Beecher, Boldy was putting up strong numbers in any role. Beginning the season on the second line with Zegras while Alex Turcotte was out with an injury, Boldy was excellent as the triggerman. Potting six goals in his first six games, totalling 10 points. The hot start for Boldy fuelled his steady rise in the rankings.
Here's a creative goal from Matthew Boldy, a top prospect for the 2019 draft. He flicks the puck in the air and bats it past the goaltender on the backhand. It's a shame that's the only camera angle.
Boldy has 10 goals in 12 games for the Development Program this year. pic.twitter.com/dzpHJFHt8o
— Mitch Brown (@MitchLBrown) October 29, 2018
Tweet courtesy of @MitchLBrown
With steady production throughout the season, Boldy went into the new year with 32 points in 30 games, producing at a fairly high rate. The new year on is when Boldy truly started to make a charge, moving into the back half of the top-10 in rankings. The riser had 49 points in the final 34 games. The rise in production rate coincided with being put on the wing with Turcotte. The complete winger and center were a match made in heaven. They began to penalty kill together as well. Soon after, Boldy was with a new center in Jack Hughes. On the top line, with two of his power play companions Hughes and Caufield, Boldy’s offensive prowess exploded. Producing highlight real plays with both his shot and his playmaking ability.
In the World U18s, Boldy played the role of playmaker. Racking up three goals and nine assists for 12 points in just seven games. On a line with Alex Turcotte once again, the pair were in-sync the entire time together. In the video below Boldy makes a very quick shoulder check, seeing Bobby Brink across the ice near the side of the net. Realizing that the defender is on his back, Boldy fires a backhand pass across the slot. While it isn’t a perfect pass, it reaches Brink who converts on the one-time shot.
— Lassi Alanen (@lassialanen) April 21, 2019
Tweet Courtesy of @LassiAlanen
The Forgotten USNTDP Prospect
Many times when you see the USNTDP group mentioned, Boldy is often one of the last names from the top group. This is often because he is the do-it-all talent rather than a guy who has that one skill that sets him apart. Jack Hughes is an all-world skater, Trevor Zegras has his playmaking, Alex Turcotte has the 200-foot game and Cole Caufield scores goals at will. Boldy haha spent time with each of these players, adapting to their skill set. He was able to change the way he played to fit the way his line mates played.
Video Courtesy of BigWhite06 Youtube channel
As a winger on a line with Trevor Zegras he was able to showcase his high level shot and spacing. Getting to soft spots in the offensive end of the ice, Boldy was able to exploit defensive breakdowns by gliding in-and-out of defenders, using his edge work to maneuver through traffic. When on the power play or on the top-line both Hughes and Caufield, Boldy did an excellent job of playing both roles. Allowing for Hughes to be the primary playmaker and Caufield to be the triggerman, Boldy was able to be the third man on the line without issue. Whether it was driving the net, winning board battles with his NHL-ready frame or retrieving loose pucks, he played his role extremely well.
What the Detractors Say
Throughout this season Boldy has done an excellent job improving in weaknesses in his game, his play in the defensive end are a prime example. While some strides were made in improving his skating from a technical standpoint, there’s still room to improve. Generating more power will be key as Boldy’s acceleration can be an issue, especially at the next level. As he matures physically and is around pro training staffs, he is likely to spend time with skating coaches and strength coaches. Whichever team takes Boldy will likely want to get him in house with their staff for development camp this summer, focusing on his skating stride.
Matthew Boldy will be taken…
Late in the top-10 or shortly after. Boldy is a very versatile and creative player offensively and defensively he’s improved over the last year. Continued growth in his own end while using his silky, smooth mitts and hockey IQ to continue to tilt the ice offensively while he’s on the ice. Teams will likely bump Boldy down because he plays on the wing and his first step quickness isn’t as good as others in this range, even though it’s unlikely to hold him back at the pro level. Boldy is going to be able to bring his vast skillset to a team with his ability to act as the playmaker or the triggerman on any line.
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