Forward Matthew Argentina has become just the fourth player ever to be signed to a pre-USHL Draft tender agreement by the Waterloo Black Hawks, the team announced Saturday.
Argentina is a 5-foot, 11-inch, 170-point 16-year-old forward who played for the New Jersey-based Mercer Chiefs during the 2018/19 season. By acquiring him via the tender process, the Black Hawks have guaranteed that Argentina won’t be claimed by another team during the 2019 USHL Phase I Draft, while also assuring that Argentina will play in Waterloo during the 2019/20 season.
“Matt is a tremendous young player and a great character kid,” said Black Hawks Head Coach and General Manager P.K. O’Handley. “We are tremendously excited to welcome Matt to the Black Hawks; he is a great addition to our organization.”
Argentina helped lead the Chiefs to the Atlantic Youth Hockey League’s National U-16 playoff title and a 17-3-1-1 (w-l-t-otl) regular season record. He averaged more than a point per game during the AYHL regular season with 11 goals and 11 assists in 19 appearances. The Philadelphia native also played prep school hockey during the winter while attending classes at The Hun School of Princeton.
Black Hawks Associate Head Coach and Associate General Manager Shane Fukushima gave an enthusiastic scouting report on the soon-to-be Waterloo skater.
“Matt is a skilled two-way forward who plays with tempo and tenacity that will fit our style of play in Waterloo.”
Argentina is committed to Notre Dame, a distinction he shares with former tender-signee and current Waterloo rookie Wyatt Schingoethe, who scored the game-winning goal Friday in the Black Hawks 5-3 win against the Muskegon Lumberjacks. In the eight years since the USHL’s current tender process was created, Mikey Anderson (2015) and Sam Rossini (2014) are the only other players that have been acquired in that manner.
In order to sign Argentina, the Black Hawks will forego their first pick in the 2019 USHL Phase I Draft.
Waterloo returns to the ice Saturday night on the road against the Chicago Steel at 7:05 p.m.
Photo by Hickling Images, courtesy of the United States Hockey League.