Matty (Matthew) Edwards was drafted by the Giants in the fourth round of the 2020 Bantam Draft. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound power forward put up big numbers in 2019-20 with the Saskatoon Blazers U15 as an underaged player and has continued to develop at the U18 level this year. Edwards is only 15 years old but is proving he has what it takes to compete with older kids. This is one prospect that Giants fans will be excited to see in the coming seasons.
Edwards is a power forward who likes to get to the net and create space for his teammates. His general manager, Cole Shepherd (no relation to Giants star Cole Shepard) raves about Matty’s abilities and dedication to the game. “He eats, sleeps, and breaths hockey.” Says Shephard. “Giants fans should be excited about Matty. The Giants drafted a great kid who is going to become a crowd favorite.” Edwards will look to provide the Giants with the physical play, and if he continues his development the way he has, we should see quite a few Edwards jerseys around the LEC.
Meet Matt! pic.twitter.com/patKzJy8fU
— Vancouver Giants (@WHLGiants) April 22, 2020
Edwards’s biggest strength is his size and shot. He is extremely hardworking and is great on the forecheck. When you are 15 and have the size that Edwards does, you need to be able to use it as a weapon. Edwards is sure to grow so continuing to develop the physical side of his game is very important. It is very difficult to transition into the Western Hockey League due to the level of physicality. The good news is Edwards has shown the level of determination that is needed to succeed in the WHL. He has a great shot that can fool goaltenders, creates space for his teammates with his size, and is not afraid to get in on the forecheck. He is a solid prospect and one that will be exciting to see a Giants uniform.
As Edwards continues to grow, he needs to ensure that his skating improves. When a player has a growth spurt and is adjusting to their new weight, they need to adjust their skating to compensate for the additional weight. The good news is that this is something the Blazers are working on with Edwards. Once he builds up that skating power, his game will be taken to a whole other level which is bad news for Giants’ opponents in the future.
The Blazers are a proud organization competing in the top-level midget league in Saskatchewan. They have some notable alumni including Chandler Stephenson, Brent Sopel, Braden Holtby, and Darcy Kuemper. They also have an abundance of knowledge within their staff including head coach Scott Scissons who played for Team Canada and the New York Islanders, assistant coach Scott Thomas who won a Memorial Cup as a scout in 2014 and skills coach Richie Regehr who has experience with Team Canada as well as the Calgary Flames.
Blazers open the scoring 2:21 into the game….
Blazers – 1
Mintos – 0 pic.twitter.com/UwjMS5KjES
— Saskatoon Blazers (@stoonblazers) November 14, 2020
The Blazers’ is an organization that is committed to ensuring their players have success on and off the ice. This is evident by the hiring of a mental prep coach named Bob Braybrook. During a pandemic when players can’t be around the game they love, they may experience emotional downs throughout their day. Braybrook helps these players get through whatever issues may arise in their everyday mental health. These players are all under the age of 18. The pandemic has been very difficult for them, especially as they try to take the next step in their professional careers. Having a mental prep coach allows these players an outlet to get them through their current challenges and will help them prepare for issues that will lie ahead in their professional careers.
Edwards has a great shot to make the team as a 16-year-old. He has the skills to play in the WHL, so now it is all about how he can apply them and continue to develop. His GM compares him to former Prince Albert Raider and 17-year NHL veteran Scott Hartnell. Hartnell was a player that was known for his physical play and ability to get under the opponent’s skin. If Edwards is anywhere close to the type of player that Hartnell was then Giants fans will love this kid and he is sure to have a successful career with the organization.
— Saskatoon Blazers (@stoonblazers) May 4, 2020