With their final pick in the 2023 NHL Draft, the Philadelphia Flyers went back to defense, selecting Matteo Mann from the Chicoutimi Saguenéens.
The Flyers rounding out the evening by taking their third defensemen of the day, Matteo Mann. Mann appears to have the make of a shutdown defensemen as he only five points in 45 games for the Sagueneens. Once teams hit the final round, they are just looking to full out their depth. Mann was rated pretty favorably, with most places having him in the top-100 so getting him with the 199th pick is a good value. Our first mock draft viewed him as a player who could be taken with the 85th pick.
"“Matteo Mann is a tower. He is a huge, huge man already. Obviously, he had got a longer path. He’s got to work on some things,” said Brent Flahr, Flyers Assistant GM. “Again, he is a big rig. He is long. He can skate and defend. He has been around the game a long time. He missed some time due to injury. He is a project, but he is a kid with lots to work with.”"
Safe to say Flahr is very happy with the build of Mann. He does call him a project, something the Flyers are willing to take and hope their development staff and fine tune things. Mann isn’t afraid to use his size to knock down players whenever they try to enter the zone. He’s smart about how he goes about things, using his long reach to disrupt plays as well.
If there’s one thing to knock Mann on, it’s his offense. Not every defensemen needs to be a dynamic offensive player, but being able to chip it every once in awhile is still needed at the NHL level. Mann, during his three years in the QMJHL, has just three goals and 17 points in 128 games. Teams are looking for more versatile players on the backend and Mann will need to find a way to add that to his repertoire just to have in his back pocket if needed.
Mann could see an increased role next season, something he mentioned should help his confidence in the offensive zone. But he certainly has the physical build, coming in a 6’6” and 226 lbs at just 18-years old. The son of current Ottawa Senators Assistant GM Troy Mann could end up providing excellent value to the Flyers down the line if all goes well. If not, he was a seventh round pick and you don’t always hit when it comes to that point.