Sunday, December 26, 2010

WJC Players to Watch: Olli Maatta

I personally find that the WJC is a great showcase of the world's best U20 for two reasons: the top-end well-known prospects get the chance to prove their status among the world's elite, and players emerge from unknowns to household names. I think one of these "unknowns" to keep an eye on is Olli Maatta, a 6'2" defenceman playing for Team Finland.

You may ask why I suggest this but, while he definitely has size on his side, Maatta is the only '94 born in the tournament, making him the youngest player in the tournament at 16 years and 4 months old.

Maatta has come from relative obscurity, playing the majority of this season in Finland's second men's league where he has 6 points in 20 games.

The fact that he was even able to make his country's U20 team at such a young age should say plenty about Maatta's skill and upside, and with a good tournament Maatta could make a name for himself as a potential top pick for next year's NHL Entry Draft.

1 comment:

  1. My Grandson, Ben Johnson who plays for the spitfires may be related to Olli. Ben's great-great grandfather, Eric Maatta came here to northern Michigan in the late 1800's from Northern Finland. I am doing some research to find if there is some relationship.
    Dan Johnson e-mail