With the fifth pick in the 2012 NHL Draft, the Leafs selected defenseman Morgan Rielly. It wasn’t a stretch to say that the Leafs had made a really good pick. After all, it’s hard not to with a pick that high.
However, 30 picks later, the Leafs made another pretty good pick. The Leafs selected fellow defenseman Matt Finn with the 35th pick. Finn was a highly-ranked player that many expected to be drafted in the first round. Obviously, that did not happen as he fell into the second round.
Last season did not go well for Finn as he missed 27 games because of a bout with mononucleosis and other injuries. This season could not have been any different.
The captain of the Guelph Storm, Finn finished second in OHL scoring from defensemen. He led the team to the OHL championship and the Storm are currently waiting for the Memorial Cup Final on Sunday after going 3-0 in the round robin portion of the tournament.
Now it is well known that the Leafs are in need of defensive help and it is one of the priorities this off-season. Could Finn fit in one an open spot? When asked what it would feel like to make the Maple Leafs next season, this is what he said,
“For me, next year if I’m able to get a shot, I’d love it. It would be a dream come true.”
We all saw what Rielly was able to do this season with the Leafs, even being named to Team Canada at the World Championships. If Finn were to make the team next season, he would have another year of development before making it to the NHL, which should be an advantage.
If he doesn’t make the Leafs, then he’ll be playing with the Toronto Marlies of the AHL for sure. Of course, if he is playing there, that means a spot probably opened up by someone graduating to the Leafs from there.
The Leafs have some good defensive prospects in the pipeline including Petter Granberg, Tom Nilsson, Stuart Percy and Andrew MacWilliam, but Finn could be the best of them all.