On Thursday night, New York Islanders prospect and current captain of the Windsor Spitfires, Matthew Maggio, had himself a night. With five goals against the Eerie Otters in a 6-3 victory, the Islanders 2022 fifth-round selection became just the fourth player in Spitfires’ history to notch five goals in a game.
— Canadian Hockey League (@CHLHockey) December 16, 2022
Maggio scored the first three goals of the contest, with his natural hat trick coming in with the first-period clock reading 9:30.
During the second period, Otters defenseman Owain Johnston decided to lay a hard hit on the Windsor captain. Teammate Liam Greentree took exception to Johnston’s decision and jumped him, earning himself an instigator penalty, a fighting major, and a game misconduct.
Maggio shared after the game about what Greentree’s actions meant to him.
“Greentree stepped up for me. That meant more to me and the team than five goals. It was the most special part of the night.” (h/t Windsor Spitfires Twitter).
The 20-year-old Matthew Maggio may be considered an over-ager in the OHL, but that shouldn’t be a knock on what he is doing this season.
In 27 games, the skilled right-winger has 23 goals have him tied for the league lead, and with 21 assists to go along with the ginos, he’s second in points with 44.
The OHL only plays 68 games in a season, with Maggio on pace for 58 goals, and 53 assists for 111 points if things continue to go this way. Five-goal games rarely happen, but Maggio has been a consistent threat for the Spitfires all season long.
So, just how good of a season is he having?
Well, in 66 games a season ago with Windsor, Maggio finished his year with 38 goals and 47 assists.
During his first development camp and the training camp with the Islanders, Maggio looked like he belonged. He was ultra-confident about his game, understood where he had to be at all times, and showed off a tremendous wrist shot as he beat Islanders elite netminder Ilya Sorokin from the top of the circle during a scrimmage.
Maggio’s also got speed which in today’s NHL is a killer. He’s undersized at five-foot-11, 186 pounds, so we shall see how he adapts to playing against older and more mature players.
His goal for the season was to play in Bridgeport, but heading back to the OHL for one more season was possible.
Maggio and the Islanders organization made the right decision, as there likely would not have been much room for him to play in the AHL this season, given the handful of prospects getting their chance right now.
But after this season, a 21-year-old Maggio will likely be heading to Bridgeport if he shows well at training camp.
The Islanders desperately need consistent goal-scoring wingers, right-wingers, to be specific. It’s something that has plagued them this season. And if they can capitalize on a fifth-round pick, that would be critical for the organization.