Jesper Mattila

Aaron Vickers

Mattila is a cerebral defender who isn’t a major standout on the back end, but when you watch him closely, he does impress. He is quick to pick up his man and covers the gap very well. He is a workhorse who can play in a variety of roles on both sides of the ice, showing a willingness to get the job done in front of the net no matter what. A very strong backward skater, Mattila uses this strength to his advantage as he defends the attack, adjusts his speed accordingly and angles his man to the outside. He uses his reach very well without slowing down and getting caught flat-footed. Mattila makes it look easy as he dishes smooth and hard passes right on the tape during the breakout. He shows that he isn’t afraid to skate the puck up ice, but he appears to be more of a defensive type of defenseman who can distribute the puck with well-placed passes. The new style of defensive defenseman is exactly what he can be—a puck-mover with some offensive ability who will do whatever it takes to see his team win.  (May 2016)