November 19 2013 04:32PM
The Leafs have signed prospect Matt Finn to a three-year entry level deal. Odds are that if you're reading this, you probably already knew that. Let me try to give you an original take here though.
First, the basics.
Matt Finn is one of the best prospects in the Leafs organization. He was picked in the 2nd round, 35th overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. That makes him a Brian Burke pick. We here at The Leafs Nation had him ranked as the Leafs' fifth-best prospect overall behind Morgan Rielly (1), Joe Colborne (2), Frederik Gauthier (3), and Stuart Percy (4). We also had recently-traded defenceman Jesse Blacker at number six. Funny that two of the guys we had in the top six just a couple months ago have already been traded. That's hockey.
Finn and his Guelph Storm squad are terrorizing the Ontario Hockey League right now. They're tied for second in the OHL standings. More impressively, Guelph leads the OHL in scoring, and it's not even close. The Storm have 123 goals in 23 games. That's 5.3 goals per freaking games. The team with the second-highest goal total is the Erie Otters with 107 goals in 23 games. No other OHL team has more than 95. The Guelph Storm are the best offensive team in the OHL, and offensive defenceman Matt Fin is a big part of that with 20 points (5 G, 15 A) in 21 games. Finn leads all Guelph defencemen in that department.
A COUPLE THOUGHTS
Having a prospect like Matt Finn in the organization is part of the reason a guy like Jesse Blacker was expendable for the Leafs. Toronto already has young offensive defencemen like Jake Gardiner and Morgan Rielly on their NHL team, and guys like Stuart Percy, Petter Granberg, and Andrew MacWilliam are on the Marlies. Even after the Blacker deal for Peter Holland, Matt Finn is one of at least six young defenceman in the Leafs organization aged 23 or younger with a legitimate chance of being a full-time NHL defenceman within next couple of seasons, if they aren't already there.
One more thing though...
This one is probably a bit of a stretch, but I look at little moves like this one, and wonder what the GM is moving onto next. I fully acknowledge that this is probably nothing, but I my ears perked up a bit when I heard this Matt Finn news and this conversation earlier in the same day:
The Hockey Central Panel talking about Jake Gardiner for Brayden Schenn. To be honest I would rather keep Gardiner.— Alex Nakamura (@ANaku122) November 19, 2013
Again - Matt Finn's signing doesn't mean anything for any player who isn't named Matt Finn. I don't want to start any bogus rumours here. All I know is that the Leafs' most plentiful position throughout the organization is defence, and in a big business like the NHL, plentiful can often be another word for expendable.
WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
Theories and guesses aside, Matt Finn is now officially a signed member of the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. If you want to see him in action, he'll be on Team OHL taking on Team Russia in the Subway Super Series this Thursday, November 21st in Oshawa.