With their first pick of Day 2, the Maple Leafs quickly snap up one of the top leftover talents in defenseman Matthew Finn. The 6’0 Guelph Storm blueliner shares many similarities to the Leafs‘ 2011 first round pick Stuart Â Percy as another complete package on the back end. During his rookie season in the OHL, Finn struggled at times with inconsistency and was criticized for his conditioning level. He responded in a big way the following summer with a tremendous work ethic and headed into last season in excellent shape.
On the ice, he’s a reliable defender with a solid physical game. His stick and positional instincts aren’t quite on Percy’s level but Finn offers more in the way on lower body strength and ability to clear out the dirty areas. He’s an effective member of the penalty kill, showing a willingness to get in the shooting lanes and sacrifice his body to make a play. On the offensive side of things, Â he plays well with the puck on his stick. He thinks the game quickly and effectively, enabling him to move the puck effectively in transition. Finn possesses an above average point shot and does an admirable job quarterbacking the Guelph powerplay.
In summary, you’re looking at a solid two-way defenseman with an high Â hockey IQ, but one whose whose potential is hampered somewhat by his average skating ability. The upside is here for a top four defenseman who can contribute at both ends of the ice as well as on both special teams units. This is a player who should have gone between picks 15 and 25 in my opinion (and Bob McKenzie’s), so there could be excellent value here.