Whether going by Matthew or Matt, there’s no denying that the young Finn (but not Fin) is probably going to be a pretty good hockey player. Last year, in just his second OHL season, Finn was the leading scoring amongst defensemen for his Guelph Storm squad potting 47 points in 61 games along with a minus-13 rating and 58 penalty minutes.
Finn also has some international experience, playing for Canada’s gold medal winning U17 team in 2011, scoring one goal and adding 4 penalty minutes. However, Finn’s junior career has not been without its disappointments as he failed to make the Canadian squad for the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.
Weight: 195 pounds
Born: February 24, 1994
What People In the Know Know
His conditioning is 100 times better this season. If you can imagine a 16-year-old being out of shape, he was. I had my year-end meeting with him and I said, ‘you can be a top 10 player or in the top seven rounds, you got to decide.’ That’s really ultimately on the player and, man, he went home and came back in phenomenal shape. I give full credit to him.
Matthew Finn is a skilled, all-purpose style of defenseman. With this player you get a little of everything.
Ona middling but pesky Storm team, Finn was a linchpin. He led Guelph in scoring from the blueline, acquitted himself well as a power play quarterback and even chipped in a shorthanded goal along the way.
“He’s been their go-to guy,” said one scout. “Strong, solid on his skates. Rushes quite a bit. Moves players out from the front of the net. He’s a character guy and plays a solid two-way game.”
Though he will play physically, Finn is particularly adept at using his stick in the defensive zone and can break up dangerous passes with his anticipation. Despite being one of the younger players on the team, he is already a leader on the ice and isn’t afraid to make his voice heard.
Though there are flashier defensemen available in the draft, Finn brings a lot of good to the table and the combination of character, defensive awareness and power play acumen will make him hard to ignore.
Finn is one of those players that has massive potential but has yet to quite put it all together into a complete package. He showed with Guelph this year that he undeniably has the talent to run with the big boys and as a young kid he has plenty of time to develop some intangibles he will need if he ever gets called up to the Show.
Finn is currently ranked 16th amongst North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting and should be a pretty good bet for a mid-10s pick come Friday. However, it would not shock me to see Finn fall to the early 20s, yet the first round should be a lock.