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NHL Draft 2012 Prospects: #26 Matt Finn

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The draft, hands down, is the best time of the hockey season. Maybe I'm just saying that because the Wild haven't been seen post-season action since 2008, but that is besides the point.

The Wild hold seven picks this year, including the 7th overall pick. The last time that Wild had a pick this high was when the team selected Benoit Pouliot 4th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft (the beginning of the Wild's awful draft record, as seen by our pal's inspiration for their blog's name...).

However, since GM Chuck Fletcher and Assistant GM Brett Flahr arrived, the team has started to see some promise. Some of these names include the Christ-like (or whoever you pray to) Mikael Granlund, Johan Larsson, Charlie Coyle and the recently drafted Jonas Brodin.

So, on June 22nd-23rd, we will all sit down in front of the television/computer and watch the draft. But if you are wondering, "who's who", then you haven't been reading HW because thats my job.

So without further ado:

Introducing our 2012 NHL #26 Draft Prospect - Matt Finn

Don't forget to check out the Hockey Wilderness 2012 Draft Page as well. Just click on the picture.


Matt Finn

Defense / Guelph Storm



Feb 24 1994

GP G A P +/- PIM
2011/12 - Guelph Storm (OHL)
61 10 38 48 -13
2011/12 - Playoffs
6 0 2 2 -1

Accomplishments & Awards:

Year Award
2011/12 CHL Top Prospects Game
Guelph Storm Playmaking Trophy
Guelph Storm Scholastic Player of the Year Award
Guelph Storm Top Defenseman Award
Guelph Storm Most Valuable Player Award
2010/11 U17 WHC Gold Medal

Guelph Storm Rookie of the Year Award

Prospect Jersey (What Would They Look Like In a Wild Jersey?)


Well, we do like our Finns...

Summarized Scouting Report


A competitive, gritty six-foot defenceman with some offensive ability ... can play in all situations ... has decent speed ... plays the game with a fair bit of bite ... not afraid to finish checks ... is becoming a very effective offensive defenseman ... a strong point shot ... shown the ability to provide some offence ... makes a solid outlet pass ... does a good job of picking his spots and playing within his means ... does a good job of playing a smart game while minimizing mistakes ... has good hockey sense at both ends of the rink ... ability to make strong, quick decisions ... plays a sound positional game ... rarely gets beat out of position ... a competitor ... he cares and he wants to win ... stellar leadership qualities


His skating is a little choppy ... doesn’t have natural physical tools ... not big enough to be a physical blueliner at the next level ... he gets in a bit of trouble under pressure

HW Projection:

#3-4 Two-way defenseman

Video Evidence:

#4 Matt Finn goal vs Plymouth (2012-02-18) (via TVhockeyprospect)

Where Does He Fit In The Wild?

A smart player but questions about his ultimate upside. The Wild don't need that...


Reminds me that time the Wild drafted Tyler Cuma, in the sense that Matt Finn is smart and skilled in all aspects of the game, but doesn't excel in anything.

Finn is a smart defenseman that will eat minutes on the 2nd PP or PK at the NHL level, play an unspectacular but safe game. He does have a bit of upside as his development in his offensive game as been quite good this season, so it raises questions whether he has more to come.

Some like Finn's toolset and think he's worthy a top 20 pick but I have my doubts.

He has only average size, average strength, and average skating. He doesn't bring a huge physical aspect to the game nor is he dynamic enough to become a star offfensive defenseman.

At 20-30, Finn is a decent pick because he has a good chance of developing into a safe, all-round defenseman, and will add value to any organization. I just question if he has enough upside to become a regular #3-4 defenseman or will he just be a #5-6 defenseman that will have a long NHL career playing an unspecatular game while eating good minutes.

Special thanks to HFBoards, Future Considerations, The Hockey Writers, TSN, OHLProspeccts and The Scouting Repor