ColoradoAvalanche.com is profiling draft-eligible prospects leading up to the 2019 NHL Draft in Vancouver on June 21-22. Forward Matthew Boldy is the No. 9-ranked North American skater in NHL Central Scouting's final rankings. The Avalanche has the fourth and 16th overall selections in the first round of the draft.
American left wing Matthew Boldy has always dreamed of becoming a professional hockey player.
"My dream is to play in the NHL, and if I don't go to the rink every day and work hard somebody else might be," Boldy said to MAHockey.org.
The 18-year-old's aspirations have been unfolding before him this past year, as he is ranked ninth among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting entering this year's draft.
The Massachusetts native grew up in the small town of Millis, which is about 20 miles southwest of Boston, and played sports for as long as he could remember.
"I played baseball, lacrosse for a few years, and I'm a pretty good golfer in addition to hockey," he told the United States National Team Development Program website.
However, Boldy was exposed to hockey at the age of 2 by his father Todd, who played college football at the University of Maine.
"My dad always loved hockey, so he got us into that instead of football," Boldy told NHL.com. "He liked the physicality, the quickness and speed of hockey."
Boldy played for a prep school in Brookline, Massachusetts, in 2016-17, but he soon received an invitation from the U.S. National Team Development Program to join its under-17 squad in Plymouth, Michigan.
"That was the first year that I have just focused on hockey," he said to the U.S. NTDP's website. "I have known my whole life that hockey is what I have always wanted to do. It wasn't a huge transition. I liked playing those sports, but they definitely came after hockey."
Since arriving in Plymouth, the 6-foot-2, 196-pound forward has seen his game grow tremendously. In his first season in 2017-18, the forward averaged more than a point per game as he tallied 76 (29 goals and 47 assists) in 62 contests and helped Team USA take home the gold at the World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.
This past year, Boldy beat his own marks by recording 81 points (33 goals and 48 assists) in 64 outings, making him the fourth-highest scorer on the under-18 team. He stood out in seven games at the 2019 IIHF U18 World Championship, ranking third in points with 12 (three goals and nine assists) and helping the Americans beat Canada for the bronze medal.
"He never overhandles the puck and he's prepped and ready to attack, whether that's the big shot, flipping a puck to himself or finding a teammate," NTDP under-18 head coach Jon Wroblewski said NHL.com. "To me he's got to be one of the most exciting wingers of this draft."
Before Boldy reaches his NHL dreams, he is planning on spending some time playing college hockey closer to home. The power forward has committed to skate for Boston College next season, joining several of his NTDP teammates including Central Scouting's No.1-ranked North American goalie Spencer Knight.