Looking at conclusion to the Pittsburgh Penguins 2013 developmental camp, it seems defenseman Olli Maatta left quite the impression on the organization.
Standing at 6’2″ and weighing in at 198 pounds, Maatta is going to be everything the Pens hoped he’d be when they drafted him.
And Pittsburgh Tribune-Review’s Josh Yohe feels to the same way:
Thoughts on Pens scrimmage: Olli Maatta is smooth, smart, skilled, wonderful skater, pretty big. Looks like a future standout.
â€” Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_Trib) July 21, 2013
Drafted in the first-round (22nd overall) of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, Maatta fell out of the top-10 — where he was projected to be selected.
Already taking a blueliner Derrick Pouliot (8th overall) in the same draft, Maatta’s availability came as a surprise to his teammate Scott Harrington — who was with Maatta on the London Knights and is also in the Pens organization:
Â ”The Pens definitely got a steal where they got him. Â I definitely thought he’d go top 10 for sure. Â He’s just an all-around two-way defenseman. Â He does everything really well. Â He plays with a lot of poise and confidence.”
At just 18-years-old, Pens assistant to the general manager Tom Fitzgerald told Yohe (and the media) that it’s going to be a difficult decision on whether or not Maatta will play at the NHL level:
Tom Fitzgerald on chance of Olli Maatta making the NHL roster this fall: “It will be a tough decision.”
â€” Josh Yohe (@JoshYohe_Trib) July 19, 2013
The Pens have an enormous amount of depth at the defensive position — which will most likely mean Wilkes-Barre/Scranton is going to be his placement for next season.
However, should the Pens deal one of their many defenseman this offseason, don’t be surprised if Maatta gets his number called.
In 57 regular-season games with the London Knights last season, Maatta registered 38 points (8G, 30A) and skated to a plus-9 rating.
He showcased his skills in the playoffs as well.
Playing in 21 postseason contests, Maatta recorded 14 points (4G, 10A) and guided the Knights deep into the Ontario Hockey League’s (OHL) Memorial Cup.