21-Year-Old Defenseman – Pittsburgh Penguins
Olli Maatta Contract Information:
Signed a six-year contract extension with an average annual value of $4.083 million in February of 2016.
Maatta tallied an assist and blocked a team-leading six shots Saturday against the Sharks.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
At age 19, Maatta surprised observers with an excellent rookie season at both ends of the ice. Picked 22nd overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the Finnish defenseman scored nine goals and 29 points in 78 games. He also helped fantasy owners with 112 blocks and even saw a little power-play time, netting three goals and three assists on the man-advantage. Maatta will serve as a top-four blueliner in 2014-15, though he might miss the first handful of games or so due to offseason shoulder surgery. He's thought to be more of a two-way player than an offensive defenseman, but his freshman campaign gave fantasy owners more than a little hope he can become a regular contributor in the scoring column.
Maatta, a first-round pick in 2012, has exceeded expectations at the OHL level. Known mostly as a defensive defenseman, Maatta has posted strong offensive numbers in his two seasons with the London Knights. He scored 32 points (5G, 27A) in 58 games in his first year and 38 points (8G, 30A) in 58 contests last season. Maatta has played well in the postseason and, despite some defensive areas that still need work, appears on the fast track to Pittsburgh. He doesn't have the offensive potential of fellow first-round pick, Derrick Pouliot, yet it wouldn't be surprising to see him become a better two-way player.
Pittsburgh selected Maatta with 22nd pick in the 2012 draft. He projects as a solid two-way defenseman without the upside of fellow first-round pick, Derrick Pouliot. Maatta has been slowed by concussions, but the Penguins are hopeful those issues are well behind him. The Finnish product posted five goals and 32 points in 58 games for London (OHL) but really picked up his play in the postseason. Maatta potted six goals and 17 assists in 19 games for the Knights. His offensive potential is not particularly high, but his ability to play both ends of the ice gives him a good chance of dressing in a Penguins sweater in the not-too-distant future.