Making up for lost time the Carolina Hurricanes added a big body at left wing with excellent skating ability in Matt Filipe. Playing for the Cedar Rapids Rough Riders in the USHL, Filipe potted 19 goals and 36 points. Known mostly for his skating, the drawback on Filipe is an alleged lack of solid hockey sense.
Matt Filipe is a late 1997 birthday who started out as a bottom sixer on the Rough Riders working his way into a top 6 role. He's got very nice hands and is best described by HockeyProspects.com as:
"Filipe is a fast skating power forward with a solid base, is strong on his skates and can make power moves toward the net with the puck. Filipe has good hands and can make some slick moves with the puck in traffic and doesn’t need a lot of room to get his shot off. Matt can bring a physical and nasty style to his game and won’t cheat you on effort at either end of the ice."
Matt needs to be more self-aware as he plays at a high speed and often doesn't think as quickly as he plays. But those hands and his solid shot, make this a strong upside pick. He was ranked as low as #128 and as high as #63. He brings size, speed and grit to the Canes' table.
One last comment from his Cedar Rapids coach does prompt some optimism:
"Matt has come a long, long way since the beginning of the year (April 2016 quote). It was a big step up coming from high school. His biggest improvement is he's learned to play fast and use his speed to his advantage."
Let's hope he can use it to the Carolina Hurricanes advantage going forward.