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Arctic Ice Hockey's First Annual NHL Mock Draft: Pick #20


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Hey all! Welcome to Arctic Ice Hockey's first annual NHL Mock Draft. Over the next thirty days, Ryan, Tim and myself will attempt to telepathically channel the minds of NHL General Managers as they complete their final rankings in preparation for the 2012 NHL Draft being held June 22, 2012 in Pittsburgh, PA.

In some instances, our analysis will require less insight than others *cough* *Edmonton* *cough*.

So without further adieu, we present our loyal readers with the twentieth overall pick of Arctic Ice Hockey's 2012 Mock Draft.

Paul Holmgren: With the twentieth overall selection in this years draft, the

Philadelphia Flyers are pleased to select...

Olli Maatta

Defenseman / London Knights - OHL

<label style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 11px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial; ">Height:</label> 6-2

<label style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 11px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial; ">Weight: 202</label>

<label style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 11px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; background-position: initial initial; background-repeat: initial initial; ">Born:</label> August 22 1994

Hometown: Jyvaskyla, FIN

Shoots: Left

<table class="zebra" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 11px; vertical-align: baseline; border-spacing: 1px; border: 0px solid rgb(212, 212, 212); width: 653px; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255); "> <thead style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 11px; vertical-align: baseline; "> <tr style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 11px; vertical-align: baseline; "> <th style="margin: 0px; padding: 3px; outline: 0px; font-size: 11px; vertical-align: top; background-color: rgb(212, 212, 212); text-align: center; border-right-width: 0px; "> </th> <th style="margin: 0px; padding: 3px; outline: 0px; font-size: 11px; vertical-align: top; background-color: rgb(212, 212, 212); text-align: center; border-right-width: 0px; "> GP</th> <th style="margin: 0px; padding: 3px; outline: 0px; font-size: 11px; vertical-align: top; background-color: rgb(212, 212, 212); text-align: center; border-right-width: 0px; "> G</th> <th style="margin: 0px; padding: 3px; outline: 0px; font-size: 11px; vertical-align: top; background-color: rgb(212, 212, 212); text-align: center; border-right-width: 0px; "> A</th> <th style="margin: 0px; padding: 3px; outline: 0px; font-size: 11px; vertical-align: top; background-color: rgb(212, 212, 212); text-align: center; border-right-width: 0px; "> P</th> <th style="margin: 0px; padding: 3px; outline: 0px; font-size: 11px; vertical-align: top; background-color: rgb(212, 212, 212); text-align: center; border-right-width: 0px; "> +/-</th> <th style="margin: 0px; padding: 3px; outline: 0px; font-size: 11px; vertical-align: top; background-color: rgb(212, 212, 212); text-align: center; border-right-width: 0px; "> PIM</th> </tr> <tr style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 11px; vertical-align: baseline; "> <td class="td-name td-first" style="margin: 0px; padding: 3px; outline: 0px; font-size: 11px; vertical-align: top; "> 2011-12 London Knights (OHL)</td> <td style="margin: 0px; padding: 3px; outline: 0px; font-size: 11px; vertical-align: top; text-align: center; "> 58</td> <td style="margin: 0px; padding: 3px; outline: 0px; font-size: 11px; vertical-align: top; text-align: center; "> 5</td> <td style="margin: 0px; padding: 3px; outline: 0px; font-size: 11px; vertical-align: top; text-align: center; "> 27</td> <td style="margin: 0px; padding: 3px; outline: 0px; font-size: 11px; vertical-align: top; text-align: center; "> 32</td> <td style="margin: 0px; padding: 3px; outline: 0px; font-size: 11px; vertical-align: top; text-align: center; "> +25</td> <td class="td-last" style="margin: 0px; padding: 3px; outline: 0px; font-size: 11px; vertical-align: top; text-align: center; "> 25</td> </tr> </thead> <tbody id="" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; outline: 0px; font-size: 11px; vertical-align: baseline; "> </tbody></table>

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Rankings: CSS (8 NA), ISS (12), TSN (NR), Hockey Prospectus (21)

The Skinny: <a class="sbn-auto-link" href="

http://www.sbnation.com/nhl/players/54520/chris-pronger" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; outline: 0px; vertical-align: baseline; background-color: transparent; color: rgb(178, 41, 49); text-decoration: none; font-weight: bold; ">Chris Pronger is still struggling through the effects of Post-Concussion Syndrome and Kimmo Timonen won't be around to patrol the blue line forever. Factor in that Matt Carle is also a UFA this off-season and the selection of Maatta makes a lot of sense.

Hockey Prospectus:

Maatta is an extremely advanced defenseman who thinks the game at a very high level. He would have been the #1 defenseman for Finland at the World Juniors—a very rare feat for a top nation at his age—if it wasn't for a concussion early in the event. He regularly logged 25 minutes per game in his first North American season in London—sometimes touching 30 minutes—as he is such a mistake-free shutdown defenseman who makes a very good first pass. Maatta plays a polished defensive style with a good mix of instinctual reads, good stick work, and strong physical play. He's quite strong and effective physically compared to most Europeans who come over, who at times don't have his muscle mass until ages 19-21. He's calm under pressure with accurate outlets. On occasion, he will show a flash of something more offensively in terms of his vision. He isn't a conservative player, though, and when he senses a moment to join the rush or help in the offensive zone, he will. Maatta will be used on the power play, where he displays more offensive creativity than he does at even strength and projects to maybe play a second unit in that role at the highest level. His puck handling is a little rigid, though, and he relies more on his sense and vision to make plays rather than puck technique. Skating has historically been Maatta's biggest issue. He has an awkward stride in terms of his forward hunch and the way he extends through. He has improved in that area, however—I've gotten mixed reports out of the OHL, with some saying no improvement and other scouts saying it has gotten exponentially better. -
Corey Pronman

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Sounds like a good bet if he's around at #20 though you have to doubt that he will (NHL ready defenseman available in late first round...something doesn't sound right here). I would only add that the Flyers would be stupid to draft for immediate need irrespective of who is left on the board.

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Sounds like a good bet if he's around at #20 though you have to doubt that he will (NHL ready defenseman available in late first round...something doesn't sound right here

I was thinking the same thing, hopefully the first 19 picks all have specific needs they're drafting for...and a player of his ilk, if not him specifically will be available... also maybe teams are spooked because central scouting says he has a weird skating stride.

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...also maybe teams are spooked because central scouting says he has a weird skating stride.

Teams and scouts who obsess about stuff like that are just like the maroons in Moneyball who talk about "good body" and all that rot. It's the same kind of nonsense that had 17 GMs pass on Bobby Clarke. Some people said that about Couturier too re his skating. It's irrelevant. Besides, skating can be worked on and developed/improved. Hockey sense, not so much.

I can't see Maatta falling to 20, but you never know. Maybe they feel he had an underwhelming Memorial Cup and his stock is falling.

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A Finn who played Junior - there's something for everyone here! :-)

Some people really love to complain. I'm sure someone is thinking "5 G in 58 games, his shot is almost as bad as Carle's!", "25 PIM? The only player he'll be tougher than is Carle!", "Terrible skater? He'll look perfect next to the pylon in Hartnell's nature video!", or "Another lefty defenseman? Drafting him is as useless as resigning Carle!"

Me? I don't watch enough juniors to hazard a guess at the NHL draft.

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I'll say that's probably more likely than Nodl outscoring Jagr.

You know, kinda...?

Maybe the wins with the roster the Flyers try to ice most seasons, but certainly not the Vezina. He hasn't shown that talent in Philly (yet).

Edited by doom88
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