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Top 25 Under 25: #14 Mathieu Joseph looks to extend offensive growth on Syracuse Crunch

Joseph has graduated from the QMJHL and will spend 2017-18 in Syracuse.

USA v Canada - 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship

The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the RawCharge writing staff. Four writers, plus a special guest, ranked players under the age of 25 as of September 1st, 2017 in the Tampa Bay Lightning organization. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production against future projection to rank each player. Now, we’ll count down each of the 25 players ranked, plus Honorable Mentions.

Feel free to make your own ranking over here!

#14 Mathieu Joseph

Mathieu Joseph is one of a slew of rookies that will be joining the Syracuse Crunch in the AHL for the 2017-18 season. He was drafted in the 4th round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft by the Tampa Bay Lightning, 120th overall. Prior to being drafted, he was coming off of a 21 goal, 42 point season for the Saint John Sea Dogs. Over the past two seasons, he ramped up his offensive production, going from that 42 point season to 73 and 80 point seasons with 33 and 36 goals respectively.

In addition, Joseph made Team Canada for the U20 World Junior Championships this season. He had a goal and five points in seven games in his first opportunity to represent Team Canada in international play. His offensive outburst after being drafted certainly caught the attention of Hockey Canada officials. He and the other Tampa Bay Lightning prospects on Team Canada went on to win a Silver Medal.

With Joseph’s offense taking such great strides the past two seasons, his future is looking a bit higher than it was when he was drafted. He was viewed as being a potential third line, energy winger that played a pretty smart two-way game at the time. Since then, he has more of the looks of a player that can end up on the second line and contribute on the power play.

For now, he’ll have to wait his turn and go through the steps of developing in the AHL. He’ll need to show the organization that he can continue to produce at a high level with the Syracuse Crunch and be one of their top wing options. He’ll have competition for playing time with the Crunch and will have to earn his playing time.

Veterans Cory Conacher, Tye McGinn, and Erik Condra, if they are all sent to the AHL and make it through waivers, will have dibs on the top wing spots. Joseph will also have competition from Adam Erne as well as fellow rookie prospects Dennis Yan, Mitchell Stephens and Alex Volkov.

Looking at the rankings the Raw Charge staff gave for Joseph gives a fair idea of where he falls for us as a group. For Achariya, Tom, and myself, we’ve balanced his future ceiling with his current abilities. In particular, with his rise to looking like more than just a third liner, his progress towards his ceiling is looking good. For iActium and Allokago, they’re looking to see him prove his growth at the pro level. I think next season when we’re doing these rankings again, he’ll be on everyone’s radar after a solid rookie season in the AHL.

Cutting it up at Development Camp during 3-on-3 tournament

Fighting through defenders to score in the WJC

Get to know Joseph

He dangles, he dekes, he puts it in the net