Matt Petgrave is a name that has become synonymous with resilience, dedication, and versatility in the world of ice hockey. As a professional defenseman for the Sheffield Steelers in the United Kingdom’s Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL), he has left an indelible mark on the sport. In this comprehensive exploration of Matt Petgrave’s life and career, we delve into his journey from a young hockey enthusiast to a celebrated athlete on the international stage.
Early Life and Beginnings
Matt Petgrave was born on January 29, 1992, and hails from Toronto, Ontario. His passion for ice hockey ignited at a young age, setting the stage for an exceptional career. He began his hockey journey with the Toronto Titans U18 AAA team during the 2008-09 season. It was clear from the outset that he possessed a natural talent and an unwavering determination to make his mark in the world of hockey.
Date of Birth
January 29, 1992
Place of Birth
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Sheffield Steelers (EIHL)
2008-09 Season with Bramalea Blues (OJHL)
Niagara IceDogs (OHL), Owen Sound Attack (OHL),
Oshawa Generals (OHL), University of New Brunswick
(USports), Syracuse Crunch (AHL), Laval Rocket (AHL),
Brampton Beast (ECHL), Various European Leagues
– Impressive point totals in OHL and AHL
– Transition to European leagues
– Contribution to Sheffield Steelers (EIHL)
– Accidental collision with Adam Johnson (2023)
Total Games Played
Over 200 in various leagues
Over 100 points in professional leagues
Private life with no disclosed family details
The OHL Experience
Petgrave’s career trajectory saw him transition to the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), where he played for the Niagara IceDogs. During his time with the IceDogs, he showcased his skills in 67 games, amassing an impressive 25 points. His performance in the OHL laid the foundation for his professional journey, and he continued to evolve as a player.
Continuing his journey in the OHL, Petgrave moved on to play for the Owen Sound Attack. In this phase of his career, he played 61 games and accumulated 37 points, further solidifying his reputation as a defenseman to watch. His success in the OHL was a testament to his dedication to the game and his ability to adapt to new challenges.
University of New Brunswick and Beyond
In the 2012-13 season, Matt Petgrave took another significant step in his hockey career by joining the Oshawa Generals. This move proved to be a game-changer, as he notched an impressive 50 points in as many games. It was clear that Petgrave was not only a formidable defenseman but also a valuable asset to any team he played for.
His journey extended to USports, where he represented the University of New Brunswick. During this phase, he continued to shine, displaying his versatility and ability to adapt to different playing environments. Matt Petgrave’s commitment to honing his skills and growing as a player was evident throughout this period.
AHL, ECHL, and Beyond
As a testament to his versatility and talent, Petgrave’s career spanned various leagues and continents. He had stints with teams such as the Syracuse Crunch, Laval Rocket, and Brampton Beast in the American Hockey League (AHL) and the ECHL. One standout season with the Brampton Beast in 2018-19 saw him notch an impressive 40 points, further establishing his prowess in the game.
Embracing European Challenges
In the 2020-21 season, Matt Petgrave embarked on a new adventure by playing in European leagues. He explored opportunities in countries like Czechia and Slovakia, adapting to new challenges and gaining valuable experiences. His ability to excel in different playing environments highlighted his adaptability and skill as a defenseman.
In the 2022-23 season, Matt Petgrave embraced a new chapter in his hockey journey by becoming a part of the Sheffield Steelers in the United Kingdom’s Elite Ice Hockey League (EIHL). This move marked a significant milestone in his career, and he wasted no time in making an impact. Throughout the season, he showcased his skills and contributed an impressive 48 points in 54 games.
Matt Petgrave: The Accidental Collision
Tragically, Matt Petgrave became the center of a heart-wrenching incident during a game between the Sheffield Steelers and the Nottingham Panthers on October 28, 2023. In the second period of the game, an accidental collision occurred that had far-reaching consequences.
American ice hockey player Adam Johnson, pursuing his career with the Nottingham Panthers, lost his life as a result of this tragic on-ice incident. Johnson, a former player for the Pittsburgh Penguins and a rising star in the hockey world, was struck in the neck by Matt Petgrave, a player from the Sheffield Steelers.
The collision occurred after Petgrave seemed to lose his balance following a prior collision on the ice. Spectators at Sheffield’s Utilita Arena witnessed Johnson bleeding from his jersey, prompting immediate concern.
Despite the initial display of bravery as Johnson skated away from the scene, he later collapsed. The 35th-minute game was halted due to the urgent need for medical attention. Johnson’s teammates formed a protective circle around him, and protective screens were installed to shield the area.
The incident was a devastating blow to the hockey community, with Johnson’s mother, Kari, expressing her grief through a Facebook post. The tragic outcome was the result of an accidental contact, and the hockey community rallied to support Matt Petgrave, emphasizing that the contact was unintentional.
NHL player Adam Johnson (29) died on live TV after Matt Petgrave slashed his throat with his skate
Petgrave has a history of bad behavior in the EIHL, including racking up the most penalty minutes (2022-2023 season) and getting booted out of games
Maintaining a private stance about his personal life, Matt Petgrave has chosen not to disclose details about his family, siblings, or romantic relationships. He respects his family’s preference to stay out of the spotlight and believes in maintaining a clear separation between his private life and his professional career.
There are no reports of Matt Petgrave being involved with any significant other, and he is reportedly single.
Matt Petgrave’s journey in the world of ice hockey is a testament to his unwavering dedication, versatility, and exceptional talent. From his early days with the Toronto Titans to his international career with the Sheffield Steelers, he has left an indelible mark on the sport. Despite the tragic incident involving Adam Johnson, Matt Petgrave’s commitment to the game and his resilience in the face of adversity continue to inspire the hockey community and fans worldwide.