Matt Barberis is a physical, hard hitting defenseman who has a great chance to be selected in the first round of the upcoming WHL Bantam Draft. Like his defensive partner Dante Fabbro, Barberis has many of the tools in his…
game to be successful.
Offensively, Barberis is good at moving the puck. He makes decisions quickly and is accurate with his outlet passes. He has the skating abilities to take the puck himself and start the attack for his team. He does not possess a great shot or vision, and will likely not put up a lot of points at the next level unless if he improves those aspects of his game. Barberis does a very good job keeping the play in the zone, mainly by stepping up and delivering a big hit to separate opponents from the puck.
Barberis is a great open ice hitter. He keeps opponents on the edge in the neutral zone, and they always have to keep their heads up and know when he is on the ice. He keeps his elbows in, and does not jump into his hits. He reads the play so well, and rarely gets caught for the play to turn into an odd man rush against his team. Barberis is a force around the boards, and is able to handle players bigger than him. He is a good backwards skater, and picks up speed in a hurry. He possesses a very good stick, and maintains a good gap on rushes.
Matt Barberis does his best work in his own zone, and the level of consistency to his play is quite impressive. He does not try to be a flashy defenseman, and seems to understand that he has to play a physical game to be most effective for his team. It is not always as fun as scoring goals and setting up others for great scoring chances, but he has embraced that role and his game has really taken off. Currently, Barberis seems to be about 5’9-5’10, so he will definitely need to grow more and be stronger to be able to play the hard hitting style as he gets older and moves on to play bigger opponents.