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Friedman: ‘widely believed’ Flames prospect Matt Coronato will return to Harvard

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Ryan Pike
8 months ago
On Saturday night’s edition of Hockey Night in Canada, Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman provided updates on some prominent college players who may be signing soon during the 32 Thoughts segment.
One who isn’t expected to sign, at least this season, is Calgary Flames prospect Matt Coronato.
Here’s Friedman on Coronato:
The Flames are going to talk to him the next two days. It’s widely believed he’s going to return to Harvard for another season. But I know Flames fans get worried about this because of history, but I don’t get the sense that the Flames are worried about this at all.
Coronato, 19, was the Flames’ first-round pick (13th overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft. He joined Harvard University as a freshman this season and, after an uneven start to things offensively, really took off in early February after a few of his teammates headed off to the Olympics and his role expanded.
Coronato ended up leading Harvard in scoring (as a freshman) with 36 points in 34 games, and was their best player in the playoffs. He won the ECAC conference’s playoff MVP award, along with being named to the conference’s all-rookie team and being named the Ivy League’s top rookie.
Now, nobody goes to Harvard for just one season. But if you look at the higher-end prospects who (a) were drafted by NHL teams and (b) signed with NHL teams, most Harvard-bound players stick around for two or three seasons and then go pro.
Via Elite Prospects’ tracker:
  • Nick Abruzzese signed with Toronto after three seasons
  • Jack Badini signed with Anaheim after three seasons
  • Jack Rathbone signed with Vancouver after two seasons
  • Henry Bowlby signed with Florida after three seasons
  • Reilly Walsh signed with New Jersey after three seasons
  • Adam Fox signed with the NY Rangers after three seasons
  • John Marino signed with Pittsburgh after three seasons
It’s Harvard. You’re not going to leave before you at least figure out where the good places to eat are.
Besides: the Flames don’t have cap space for Coronato at the NHL level right now, and he could even get lost in the shuffle on a very stacked Stockton AHL squad. Coronato was Harvard’s best player for the latter half of this season, and that’s a great start. Before he goes pro, I’m sure both he and the Flames are hoping that he could become the best player in his conference (and among the best players in all of college hockey).
If that happens next season, don’t be too surprised if he finds a pretty lucrative (rookie) contract in front of him.

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