The Pittsburgh Penguins select Olli Maatta 22nd overall.
Here’s the skinny on Maatta:
He is a pro-sized, intelligent defender with good two-way abilities. He skates with agility, but only has average speed. His stride is extremely fluid and easy. He has good all-direction mobility and agility, which aids his defensive zone coverage. He is a heads-up defender who identifies situations and coverage well. He is solid positional-wise and effective in corners. He is not overly physical, but uses his positioning and body to leverage players out of the way. He shows a good stick in passing lanes and knocks down a few passes. He is a shot-blocking machine and is strong along the boards when fighting for pucks. He is good at identifying open ice and steps up, keeping strong gaps. He is an extremely smart player who uses his large frame and active stick to effectively neutralize time and space for opposition. He always seems to be learning new tools to his craft and expanding his arsenal. He has strong vision with the puck and makes some strong stretch passes. He has good puck skills; although, he does not rush up ice himself all that often. His level of consistency is what really gets the respect of his coaches and teammates.
Here’s what one of our scouts had to say:
“He is a safe pick. He projects out as a top four two-way defenseman. He makes smart plays with the puck and shows strong mobility and agility. The only question that I have is, if he has ‘topped out,’ how much more growth is there to his game?”