Height/Weight: 6'1"/203 lbs.
Youth Team: JYP
Current Team: London (OHL)
While London Knights defenseman Olli Maatta may not be particularly dominant in any one area, his all-around play has made him a very popular prospect throughout the draft process. Maatta is excellent on both ends of the ice, and he seems to take things to another level in big games, which should be a positive for him in the NHL.
Maatta racked up 32 points and was a plus-25 while playing big minutes for the Knights during the regular season, but he was a completely different player come playoff time.
Maatta set an OHL record for postseason defensemen scoring, as he netted six goals and set up 17 more for a total of 23 points. He isn't expected to produce at that type of offensive clip in the NHL, but he showed that he has big-time potential in that regard.
His biggest asset on offense is his skating ability. Maatta is more than capable of leading the rush, and it results in some nervous moments for the opposition. His speed is equally useful defensively, however, because he can get back to his position quickly and he is able to stick with skilled forwards up and down the ice.
Aside from that, the Finnish star is simply a solid, complete player. His offensive weapons won't exactly wow you, but he is a very adept passer, as evidenced by his playoff statistics, and he always seems to find a way to get his shot on net from the point.
Maatta is also better defensively than many of his counterparts in the draft, as he has a quick stick, isn't afraid to get physical and is excellent at winning battles along the boards with his good frame.
I'm not sure that Maatta's offensive outburst will translate to the NHL, but his utilitarian style will make him a rock-steady player along the blueline for years to come. Maatta may not receive the same accolades as some of the defensemen rated above him, but I see a very low bust factor attached to him.
Maatta should be an NHL contributor in two years tops.
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