The Merrimack men’s hockey team received big news on Friday, when 2003-born center Matt Copponi committed to the Warriors.
This past season, the 16-year-old had 20 goals and 22 assists for 42 points in 30 games at Dexter. It was his first season in prep hockey, having previously played at Mansfield High and with the Neponset Valey River Rats (where he also played midget this past season).
Copponi, who was being pursued by Hockey East, ECAC and Atlantic Hockey programs, skated at Team USA’s Select 16 camp last summer as well.
Copponi was selected in the ninth round of last year’s USHL Phase I Draft and was taken eighth overall by the Quebec Remparts in the 2019 QMJHL American Draft. Copponi is eligible for the 2021 NHL Draft.
“I’ve been watching Matty play for a long time,” said Neutral Zone NHL scout, Ian Moran. “He’s always had excellent vision and poise with the puck. Coming out of the defensive zone and through the neutral zone Matty can make plays at top speed and he’s very good at keeping the defenders guessing. He manipulates their gaps by changing speeds and if he gains the blueline uncontested he’s going to generate a scoring opportunity. I like his feet and think they’re going to keep getting better as he matures. I’m not sure everyone knows it, but Matty has a chance to be 6’1″ or bigger. His older brother grew 2″ while in college so there’s a pretty good chance that Matty will too. I also think his game grew by leaps and bounds this year at Dexter.
“Matty has huge upside and he’s a player that NHL teams will be watching closely over the next 14 months.”
Neutral Zone also had Copponi ranked as the No. 1 uncommitted forward at the NE Prep Finals this past March.
Given his age, it’s likely Copponi will arrive at Merrimack in either 2022 or 2023.
Merrimack 2021 Commits
|F||Luke Weilandt||Northbrook, Ill.||Sioux Falls||USHL||5-10||176||4/4/02||4.00|
|F||Devlin O’Brien||Missisauga, Ont.||Penticton||BCHL||5-10||185||4/5/02||3.75|
|F||Matt McDonald||Weymouth, Mass.||Boston Advantage||T1EHL||6-1||194||4/16/02||3.75|
|F||Chris Carroll||Islip, N.Y.||NJ Avalanche||T1EHL||6-1||181||5/4/01||3.50|
|F||Nic Cherkowski||Vernon, B.C.||Wenatchee||BCHL||6-2||184||10/5/00||3.25|
|D||Zach Bookman||, N.Y.||Brooks||AJHL||5-9||170||3/29/02||3.75|
|D||Michael Brown||Belmont, Mass.||Youngstown||USHL||6-2||210||4/3/01||3.75|
|D||Nolan Barrett||Glen Ridge, N.J.||Cowichan Valley||BCHL||6-0||170||7/26/00||3.50|
Merrimack 2022 Commits
|F||Matt Copponi||Mansfield, Mass.||Dexter||NE-Prep||5-11||161||6/4/03||4.00|
|F||Steve LaForme||Hagersville, Ont.||Hamilton||OJHL||6-0||184||2/7/03||3.75|
|D||Michael Rubin||Blauvet, N.Y.||NJ Rockets||USPHL||6-1||187||5/3/03||4.00|
|D||Liam Cavan||Gloucester, Ont.||St. Andrew’s College||CAHS||5-11||180||3/9/02||3.50|