SUNRISE, Fla. – The work ethic of Florida Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson has reached well beyond the ice since the days of his upbringing in Point-Claire, Quebec.
That was apparent to General Manager Dale Tallon when he drafted an 18-year-old Matheson in the first round of the 2012 NHL Draft.
It was apparent to his coaches and teammates at Boston College, where Matheson excelled and graduated, after only three years, with a degree in psychology.
Fast forward to present day, where the 26-year-old defenseman is putting that work ethic to good use, playing in his fourth NHL season and one game away from his 300th in the league.
It didn't take nearly that many games for Matheson's teammates in Florida to see that the intelligent, soft spoken yet hardworking defenseman would be an ideal candidate to represent them in important league matters.
"I've been the (Panthers' National Hockey League Players Association) Player Rep for two years, and I was the assistant the year before that," Matheson explained. "My rookie year, my teammates tried to make me be the assistant, but I didn’t have enough games played yet. I think they just saw me as a guy that went to college and has an education and would hopefully be able to understand things a little bit better."
Being a player rep was something that intrigued Matheson, and he was interested in being on the NHLPA’s Executive Board, representing his Panthers teammates, from the start.
As has been the case with all challenges in his life, Matheson dove into his new responsibilities head-on. He quickly gained an appreciation for the role and what it has meant to players over the years.