Huntington's Matthew Coronato picked 13th overall by Calgary
Matthew Coronato became one of the highest-selected players from Long Island in NHL Draft history when the Flames selected the Huntington forward 13th overall on Friday night.
The 18-year-old Coronato, who grew up rooting for the Islanders, spent the past two seasons playing Tier 1 junior hockey for the Chicago Steel (USHL).
Coronato is committed to Harvard for next season.
"I don’t have a set plan to stay for four years at all," Coronato told the media after being drafted. "I want to play in the NHL. I want to play for the Flames."
The Canadiens selected Mike Komisarek of West Islip seventh overall in 2001. Syosset’s Eric Nystrom, the son of Islanders’ four-time Stanley Cup champion Bobby Nystrom, was taken 10th overall by the Flames in 2002.
Current Bruins defenseman Charlie McAvoy of Long Beach was selected 14th overall in 2016. Smithtown’s Christopher Higgins was also chosen 14th overall by the Canadiens in 2002.
The 5-10, 183-pound Coronato scored 48 goals — the fourth-highest single-season goal total in USHL history — and had 37 assists in 51 games last season. He added nine goals and four assists as Chicago won the league’s championship and was named the USHL forward of the year.
"I think something that I’m proud of in my game is the ability to play 200 feet," Coronato said, adding his favorite player in the NHL to watch is the Lightning’s hard-working, top-line center Brayden Point. "Competitive in all three zones. I can contribute in all three zones. My work ethic might be my biggest asset."
Still, Coronato said he needed to get stronger, faster and more mobile to play in the NHL.
"I think there’s a lot of parts of my game that need improvement," said Coronato, who spent Friday night in a Michigan hotel along with his family as he attends a Team USA summer showcase. "I’m excited to get after it next year and do that."
Coronato is listed as a right wing but said he is comfortable at all three forward positions and does not have a preference, nor is he sure where Harvard plans to play him.