2012 NHL Draft Eligible Prospect Profile: Olli Matta – London Knights

Photo courtesy of Terry Wilson / OHL Images

By Todd Cordell (@ToddCordell)

Over the past month or so I have posted several prospect profiles on some of the top draft eligible players currently playing on the Ontario Hockey League. With the draft so close, this will be the last profile I post before the draft. All of my 2012 draft eligible profiles, as well as TheHockeyGuys’ top-60 draft rankings, can be found at the bottom of the article.

Without further ado, here is my prospect profile on 2012 draft eligible defenseman Olli Maatta of the London Knights who was fantastic for the Knights in the second half of the season and throughout the playoffs.

Olli Maatta
Age – 17 (18 August 22nd)
Position – Defense
Height – 6’2″
Weight – 198
Draft Projection: 15-20th overall
OHL Team: London Knights
2012 Regular Season Statistics: five goals, 27 assists, 32 points, plus-25, 25PIM, 58 games played
2012 Playoff Statistics: six goals, 17 assists, 23 points, plus-11, 2PIM, 19 games played
NHL Comparable(s) – Carl Gunnarsson
Upside – 8/10

Strengths – Maatta is one of my favorite draft eligible players this year. He’s big, strong on his feet and is a good skater. He’s a very smart player, is almost always in perfect position and rarely gets caught jumping in offensively, but when he does his skating ability is often good enough to get back in the play. He’s one of the best defenseman in the draft in terms of playing in his own zone, and he showed in the playoffs he’s capable of producing offensively as well. His awareness and hockey sense are through the roof, and he’s very good at reading and reacting. He has a good shot, an above average first pass and in general is very good at both ends of the rink.

Weaknesses – Maatta is pretty well rounded, but one area he could improve in, especially given his size, is his physical game. He’s not soft, but he could certainly improve in that area. He needs to fill out his body more, too, but that will come with time.

Career Projection – First pairing (#2) defenseman – Given his size, talent and smarts Maatta projects to be a solid two-way first pairing defenseman. While I don’t think he will be good enough to anchor a defense core, I think he would be a great number two guy. Think Mike Richards, but from a defense point of view.

2012 Draft Eligible Prospect Profiles:

TheHockeyGuys’ top-60 draft rankings

Radek Faksa – Kitchener Rangers

Alex Galchenyuk – Sarnia Sting

Matt Finn – Guelph Storm

Tanner Pearson – Barrie Colts

Scott Laughton – Oshawa Generals

Tom Wilson – Plymouth Whalers

Slater Koekkoek – Peterborough Petes

Cody Ceci – Ottawa 67′s

Follow me on twitter @ToddCordell


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