When the Pittsburgh Penguins took Olli Maatta 22nd overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, they knew he would be good, but I bet they didn’t think he would be good this young in his career.
Olli Maatta is only 19 years of age, but you would never know by watching his play on the ice. When he is out there on the ice you would think that he is a 10-year vet.
It is easy to see just by watching the young man that Maatta has a high hockey IQ. He knows exactly where to be at all times, and if he makes a mistake he hustles to get back into the play.
“Based on his play, we believe this is the best decision for Olli and the Penguins,” Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero said via NHL.com.
Through nine games this season Maatta averages over 15 minutes of ice time with a goal and two assists.
“He’s a solid defender,” Bylsma said of his young defenseman. “He’s dependable, he skates well. Good, solid execution with the puck and he’s been that way in the opportunities he’s had. He’s very good at creating separation and making a play with the puck afterwards.”
This was a tough decision for the Penguins, by keeping Maatta up the Penguins decided to forgo delaying one year of his three-year entry-level contract. With an abundance of defensemen on the roster they could have easily sent him down, but with Maatta on the team it is easy to see that the Penguins are a better hockey team.