NHL Fansided is running a mock draft, you can check out this link for who everyone selected but more importantly, us here at Flame For Thought have picked Finnish defensemen Olli Määttä of the London Knights.
Määttä will be a nice addition to the Flames in two years or so when he fully develops into a grown man. While he is 6’2″ 202lbs, the young 18 year old could use more time to grow into his body and fine tune his skills.
Labeled as a two-way defenseman, Määttä’s specialty lies in his defensive zone play and is known for clearing the puck efficiently, something the Flames could use desperately. There are some doubts as to how his skills in the OHL will translate in to the NHL, especially since he recently suffered a concussion in December, Määttä’s success will lie in new head coach Bob Hartley’s skill in patience. Hartley is known for coaxing out the best in young players, but the real test will be if Hartley can hold off on playing Määttä for a few seasons.
I don’t think you will see any sort of attention grabbing headlines, Määttä is no superstar in the making, but his is a player who can serve as the backbone of this mythical rebuild the Calgary Flames have been discussing for a few seasons now.
At the end of the 2013-2014 season (so two seasons from now), Jay Bouwmeester and Derek Smith’s contracts will run out. By then, young Olli Määttä will have spent two years with the Abbotsford Heat and hopefully adapted to the Calgary Flames system, and will be prepared to take the place of JBou and Smith.
Interested in what will really happen? Tune in June 22nd and 23rd as the NHL heads to Pittsburgh for the NHL Draft.