Many fans (including those here) clamooured for a forward, high-risk, high-reward defenceman Morgan Rielly was taken with the 5th overall pick. But the real success came the following day, when the Leafs managed to snag another kid with 1st round talent early in the 2nd round, in local boy Matt Finn.
Finn, the cousin of former Leaf Carlo Colaiacavo, joins an impressively deep pool of prospects from which the Leafs can hope to restock a lagging blueline, though certainly not right away.
Finn's past season with the Guelph Storm hinted at some of the promise he can potentially deliver, but injuries got in the way of a truly breakout season and scientists to ponder the question of whether Boneitis is a hereditary affliction. Finn rises 5 places to Number 8 on our list.
The good news is Finn's injuries sustained were not the sort that raise concerns for his future (such as concussions or a recurring shoulder injury). MOst pro hockey players don't have recurring issues with mono. But Finn certainly has talent and the hockey sense to be an effective defender, and potentially the offence to contribute as a top-four defender. In the leadup to his draft, Finn shot up the rankings as the year went on, and in the Copper N' Blue draft profile/ prior to the draft, they spoke with the Managing Editor of The Scouting Repor, about what Finn brings to the table.
He’s an all-around guy who gives you a little bit of everything. He’s not overly big or imposing, but he’s very competitive and is not afraid to engage physically. Very capable puck mover who does a good job finding lanes and advancing the puck.
2012-13 was really a tale of two seasons for Finn; there was the first half, where Finn stepped up to be a first-pairing stalwart for the Guelph Storm, and his offensive game flourished (26 points in 29 games at the end of December).
Then there was the second half of the season, where injuries and mono forced him in and out of the lineup and he managed just 5 points in 12 games for the remainder of the season.
EDITION 2 - 13/41
EDITION 1 - N/A
As with many of the names we've covered so far, Finn makes a big jump on several voters rankings, in no small part to the removal of a number of names from the previous list. In Finn's case, he moved up 11 spots on JP Nikota's list, 7 on SkinnyFish's, and 4 on birky and PPP's. Chemmy and I did not see as much reason for improvement, with Chemmy bumping him up 2 spots and he stayed the same on my list.
Finn's still one of the better defensive prospects we have but holy hell does he need to stop picking up injuries if he wants to downplay being related to Colaiacavo.
1st round talent that fell to the 2nd round. Battled injuries & lost development time.
Finn's 195 points land him in a tie for 7th place, but I'll wait until tomorrow to explain the tiebreak result because it is the closest result we've ever had in PPP Top 25 Under 25 history.
Finn almost certainly returns to Guelph for his final season in the OHL. Hopefully he stays injury-free and takes another big step forward in his development.