22-Year-Old Defenseman – New York Islanders
Matt Finn Contract Information:
Signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Maple Leafs in November 2013.
Finn was one of five players traded to the Islanders on Thursday in exchange for forward Michael Grabner, Stephen Whyno of The Canadian Press reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Matt Finn.
Finn's 2013-14 was as good as the previous season was bad. Finn finished second in OHL scoring from the blue line with 61 points (14 goals and 47 assists). His plus-minus was a whopping plus-57 and he led his Guelph Storm to an OHL championship and a Memorial Cup berth. Leaf fans should take a deep breath before they get excited -- Finn won't deliver offense like that in the NHL and his skating needs to continue to improve. He'll be a pass-first, second-pairing defender who plays a shutdown game like Matt Niskanen in Dallas. Let someone else in your keeper league take the bait.
Finn had a tough 2012-13. First stricken with mono and then felled by a nasty knee-on-knee hit, the smooth defender just couldn’t catch a break. He did play well on a thin Guelph Storm blue line when he did dress, but he'll need another year of junior -- a full year, that is -- to see if he can become an offensive force. Otherwise, he's a solid, top-four defender with second power-play unit upside. But that won't come for a few years just yet. Watch and wait.
Finn fits the mold of the prototypical puck-moving NHL defender – not only is he a great skater who can accurately hit the tape of a streaking forward in transition, but he also plays a strong positional game in his own zone. He may not have the flash-and-dash of the top defenders in the 2012 class, but he’s not that far behind. He should have a long NHL career as a sturdy, top-four defender, however, he'll return to junior but could be in the NHL in three seasons.