Dexter Center Matt Copponi Commits to Merrimack

Photo: Dan Hickling/Neutral Zone

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

Pos Name Hometown Team League Height Weight DOB NZ Rating
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

Pos Name Hometown Team League Height Weight DOB NZ Rating
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

About the Author

Mike McMahon
Mike McMahon is in his 13th year covering Merrimack College for The Eagle Tribune and is the founder and managing editor of The Mack Report. Mike also serves on staff as a senior writer at College Hockey News. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcMahonCHN

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