The year of 2012 is quickly becoming known for the number of substantial injuries and the infirmary isn't limited to National Hockey League players. The 2012 draft class has been hit harder than a tornado coming through Oklahoma City in the summer months. However, if these injured draft eligible players can return to good health soon then there is hope that we can switch the focus of 2012 from the "Year of the Injured" to the "Year of the Defenseman," as it should be.
The National Hockey League will soon welcome a slew of defensive draft prospects into its league in what might be one of the richest draft classes for defensemen in quite some time. Last August, The Dean's List profiled a few top defensive prospects for the upcoming 2012 NHL Entry Draft that featured the likes of Ryan Murray, Mathew Dumba, Jacob Trouba, Griffin Reinhart and Nick Ebert. Following that release, TDL examined the battle between two other WHL defensive studs in Derrick Pouliot and Morgan Rielly. This week, TDL skates over to the Ontario Hockey League to profile three defenseman scouts are quite high on –Matt Finn, Cody Ceci and Slater Koekkoek. The trio of OHL defensemen were recently ranked 15th, 16th and 17th respectively among North American skaters in the NHL's Central Scouting Mid-Term Rankings.
Matt Finn – Guelph Storm (OHL)
Born: February 24, 1994
Height: 6-0 Weight: 197
2011-2012 Statistics: 36GP-6G-24A-30P, 38 PIM
Draft Rankings: TDL – 20th, ISS – 17th, CSS – 15th NA
Hailing from Toronto, Matthew Finn has been one of the early risers of the 2012 NHL draft class as he started the season ranked outside of the first round by most scouting services. Over the first half of the season, Finn has been patrolling the blueline like an attacking shark drawing the attention of everybody on the frozen water around him. The Storm entered the season as a team with few expectations but have certainly played better than projected and Matt Finn has been one of the main reasons for their success. Finn anchors a young blue line and plays a very controlled, poised game making him appear more as a savvy vet than a seventeen-year-old.
The Guelph Storm drafted Finn twelfth overall in the 2010 OHL Draft from the Toronto Marlboros where the swift skating rearguard put up 22 goals and 57 points. As a rookie in the OHL, Finn recorded 21 points last season and has already surpassed those totals this season as he enters the second half of the OHL season with 30 points (6th in OHL defensemen scoring). Finns quick rise up the draft rankings has been largely credited to his huge improvement and commitment to physical fitness. Finn is a dedicated player with good intangibles. Scouts are drawn to his hockey sense and intelligence,