Summer Report Card: Matt Moulson
Feb 23, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; New York Islanders left wingMatt Moulson
(26) during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center. Islanders beat the Sabres 4-0. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
NASSAU VETERANS MEMORIAL COLISEUM OF LEARNING
- Name: Matt Moulson
- Enrolled: 2012-13
- Age: 29
- Undergraduate: 2007
- Days Absent: 1
- Scholarship: 3 years / $9.4 million (expires after 2013-14 season)
- Achievements: 47 GP, 15 G, 29 A, 44 PTS, -3 +/-, 154 SOG, 9.7 SPCT, 19:09 TOI/G
Class List and Grade History
- Skating: B
- Shooting: A-
- Passing: B
- Defense: B-
- Leadership: B
Professor’s Comments: Matt continued his maturation as one of the New York Islanders’ most important players this season by notching 44 points in 47 games and earning league-wide recognition as a Lady Byng Memorial Trophy finalist for the second consecutive year.
His 0.94 points-per-game pace during the lockout-shorted 2012-13 NHL season followed his personal trend of improving his scoring output year-over-year since joining the Islanders: 0.59 PPG in 2009-10; 0.65 PPG in 2010-11; and 0.84 PPG in 2011-12.
Moulson also recorded three points (2G, 1A) in six playoff games this year in the Isles’ opening-round series against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Matt finished the regular season third on the team in goals scored, first in assists and second in points; his 154 shots-on-goal were good for second on the team, eight fewer than his linemate John Tavares.
As the season statistics bear out, Matt’s offensive production is unquestioned. His defensive capabilities, however, could use improvement. He’s not a regular on the team’s penalty kill unit—as is the case with almost all offense-centric players—but holds his own against opposing teams’ top lines. The faculty would like to see him improve his backchecking and positioning in the defensive zone in preparation for next season.
Aside from that minor criticism, Moulson provides essential scoring for the team and is a role model to his teammates and players around the league when it comes to sportsmanlike play.
Professor’s Recommendation: Because Matt’s contract is up at the conclusion of next year, we expect to see a strong performance from him during the 2013-14 NHL season. It’s no secret that players feel pressure to play well during a contract year, and we see no reason for Matt’s contract year not to follow that prototype.
Assuming that he continues to produce at a high level, it is important for the Isles’ front office to sign Moulson to a lucrative extension. Based on players similar to Matt’s skill level, we would expect general manager Garth Snow to offer a contract that is four or five years in length, at approximately $4 or $4.5 million per season.
Moulson’s chemistry with Tavares on the Islanders’ top line is an important aspect of the team’s performance. In picking him up from the Los Angeles Kings, Snow realized Moulson was an underutilized player; it is the assumption of the faculty that Snow will want to lock up Moulson long-term in the near future.
Poll: agree or disagree with the faculty’s assessment of Matt’s performance. Is his career performance with the Islanders worthy of the Islanders re-signing him to a contract in the range of 4 or 5 years, $20-$22.5 million? Vote ‘Promote’ to agree, or ‘Expel’ to disagree.