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Colorado Avalanche Top 25 Under 25: #21 Matthew Stienburg

The snarly forward looks to get the attention of the organization.

Matt Dewkett/Cornell Athletics

The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Mile High Hockey staff. Five writers have ranked players under the age of 25 as of July 1, 2023, in the Colorado Avalanche organization. Now, we’ll count down each of the 25 players ranked.

The year 2023 was a big one for Matt Stienberg. The senior out of Cornell played his final collegiate season, helping lead his team to an NCAA Tournament appearance. The Big Red made it to the second round, thanks to a Stienburg assist against first-seed DU, before being eliminated by Boston University. Shortly after Cornell’s elimination Steinberg signed an AHL tryout with the Colorado Eagles and made his professional hockey debut.

Stienberg was drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the third round of the 2019 NHL Draft. Stienberg went on to play three seasons with the Cornell Big Red, his sophomore year being canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. His career with the Big Red was solid. Stienburg put up an admirable 10 points in 27 games during his first season, good numbers for freshmen.

Stienburg spent a brief stint in the BCHL with the West Kelowna Warriors to stay fresh while Cornell’s games were postponed, however, he broke his fibula just a few games in. A year without competitive action was definitely a concern for the Nova Scotian winger heading into his penultimate year with the university. Stienburg showed little to no rust, putting up 13 goals and 16 assists for 29 points in 28 games his junior year.

In his final season at Cornell, Stienberg suffered an injury that sidelined him for a month. Not only that but the bulky winger shot an abysmal 4.5 percent, much lower than his previous season totals of 16.1 and 20.6 percent. He finished his final campaign with seven points in only 18 games.

Once Cornell was eliminated at the hands of the Boston University Terriers, the Colorado Eagles extended Stienburg an ATO. Stienburg played four games with the Eagles in both the regular and postseason, registering an assist in each.

Despite leading Cornell in scoring, Stienburg’s strongest trait is his tenacity. Steinburg is a hefty winger who plays a decisive game. According to the Cornell website, he comes in at 6’2” and 195 lbs, a one-inch, 10-pound increase since his junior year. This size is something he does not shy away from using. Stienburg plays an aggressive game, which gets him into trouble at times. Over his collegiate career, he put up a whopping 93 penalty minutes in just 73 games. Even with the Eagles Steinberg found him in the box a bit too often, spending nine minutes in the sin bin in his 10 AHL games.

Stienburg does have a decent skill set to go with his size and has seemed to make sizable strides with his skating ability, but the question is still unclear as to whether that is enough for him to even push for time with the Colorado Avalanche. As of this moment, Stienburg is still unsigned by the Avalanche, however, he did participate in the teams’ development camp this year, scoring a goal in their four-on-four scrimmage.

This is a make-or-break year for Steinberg with the Avalanche if he is even still part of the organization. He will have to make his minutes count down with the Eagles. He showed well in his brief stint last season. Stienburg must stay consistent and healthy this year to put himself on notice.