NHL Draft Prospect Profile #18: Matt Finn
Drafted 35th overall by The Toronto Maple Leafs.
Matt Finn is one of the most improved players in the OHL this season. This two-way defender with the Guelph Storm has really come into his own this season, and has greatly improved his draft stock. Finn has become a leader for the Storm and hopes to continue in the tradition of Drew Doughty and Dan Girardi as defencemen developed by the club. With his great improvement this year, Finn has pushed himself into the conversation with guys like Codi Ceci, Olli Maata, and Slater Koekkoek for the top rated defence prospect in the OHL.
Born Feb 24 1994 — Toronto, ONT
Height 6.00 — Weight 197 — Shoots L
Matt Finn is an incredibly intelligent defenceman in both ends of the ice. Finn is an effective two way player who makes reads the play effectively and makes very good decisions. Offensively, Finn understands the proper time to pinch in at the line, and is effective in picking his spots to join the rush. Defensively Finn reads the play well in both the neutral zone and the defensive end of the ice, effectively shutting many plays down before opponents get the opportunity to set up. He is a quick and agile skater, and uses these skills in all areas of the ice.
In the offensive zone Finn has a good slapshot. At the Skills Competition prior to the CHL Top Prospects game he was clocked at 90.1 MPH. In game situations, he keeps his shot low and accurate. He is also able to effectively use his wrist shot. Finn is able to find holes in the opponents defence and exploit gaps created in the offensive zone. He is an intelligent Power Play Quarterback using his vision and skills to make great tape to tape passes and to set up teammates with good scoring opportunities.
Finn is an effective defender who is very good positionally. He angles defenders to the outside and is rarely beaten by a forward off the rush. He is a good shot blocker, and rarely misses his assignments. He gets the transition game started with a good first pass, and his mobility with the puck. Finn however does need to put on some more muscle onto his frame so he can better handle bigger forwards at the next level.
If this review sounds glowing, it should. Finn is a really solid all around player. So why is he a mid-first rounder and not a top-10 pick? While Finn has a number of good skills, he doesn’t have any one true great part of his game that would give him the really high celing of some of the other defenders in this draft. However we do feel that Finn is a realtively safe pick in this draft. Finn compares favourably to another former Storm defender. We feel that his potential is to become a player similar to Dan Girardi of the New York Rangers, perhaps even with a little more offence.
… and thats the Last Word.