Team: Guelph Storm (OHL)
Date of Birth: February 24, 1994
Place of Birth: Toronto, Ontario
Ht: 6'0" Wt: 195
2011-2012 Regular Season Stats:
2011-2012 Playoff Stats:
After a confidence filled sophomore season with the Guelph Storm, Matt Finn looks to be a lock as a first round draft pick next month.
Finn's motivation for his breakout season came from something that didn't happen. Looking forward to the Ivan Hlinka tourney, Finn was told "thanks, but no thanks". With one of the marquee events that every junior wants to have on his resume, Finn re-dedicated himself to all facets of his game.
After the 2010-11 season, Storm coach Scott Walker was concerned with Finn's dedication, in particular his conditioning. In speaking with Neate Sager of Yahoo! sports, Walker said last November:
"His conditioning is 100 times better this season. If you can imagine a 16-year-old being out of shape, he was. I had my year-end meeting with him and I said, 'you can be a top 10 player or in the top seven rounds, you got to decide.' That's really ultimately on the player and, man, he went home and came back in phenomenal shape. I give full credit to him.
Chris Edwards, NHL Central Scouting:
"He's a real smart guy. Along the same lines, he doesn't make any mistakes. He keeps it simple. He's got enough poise and ability that he can skate the puck out of trouble, he makes real good outlet passes, simple and safe. … He's got a real good head. He's poised and calm, used in all situations. I've just noticed that since the start of the year he has been a very, very effective player. And a high-end defenseman. I came into the year not knowing much about him, but now I'm pretty confident he'll be a top-two defenseman in the NHL for a long time."
Why he'd be a good fit in Columbus:
The opportunity to add a blue chip d-man to the Blue Jackets mix could very well end up with the Kings draft pick acquired in the Jeff Carter trade. As the Kings roll toward a Stanley Cup Finals appearance, the Jackets may be in a position for a late first rounder. Matt Finn just may be that guy.
Among the things that were proven this past season, was you can't have too many defensemen. With top four spots on D being reserved in both Columbus and Springfield, how does a talent like Finn fit in?
As the Jackets continue their reorganization process, the club will be well served to have the perception of too much talent, rather than too little. Looking forward, a player of Finn's caliber would have the opportunity to develop at his own pace to the pro game.
It's difficult to ignore what Chris Edwards alludes to when he says he's "pretty confident he'll be a top-two defenseman in the NHL for a long time." Personally, I like a fit like that for the Jackets.
There aren't a ton of Matt Finn videos, so here's a dandy scrap he had in the 2010-11 season: