Children...Children...Future...Future: Hawks Draft Prospects - Matt Finn
For all those curious, you should know by now that I was going to buy Arkham City anyway but I just needed you all to feel better and enable me more. And you did. Well done!
Anyway, let's get to one of our last possible picks here, and this will be in the category we know the Hawks love to go to, the small defenseman. While the Hawks could do anything on Friday -- their system is well stocked enough that I think they probably will just go with best player available -- the fact that last year's first three picks were all forwards, I just get this hunch that they'll spend one of their first two picks on a blue-liner. I guess you can never be too stocked.
Today's topic is Guelph Storm back-ender Matt Finn. Finn and 37 assists and 47 points in 61 games in the OHL this season. Before you label him Phil Housley, however, in juniors and especially the OHL scoring gets out of whack, and any decent defenseman can probably fall into 30 points if he's so inclined. It's because of this that Finn isn't seen as a offensive-defenseman, but more a positionally sound quick one. In fact, Johnny Oduya may not be the worst comparison.
But he's versatile. That's the key word. He quarterbacked the Storm's power play this season, which boosted the point total. What really has scouts impressed is that after his first year in the OHL, Finn's conditioning was highly questioned. He came back the next season in uber-shape (you'd think he was Killion or something), and scouts and coaches love it when a young kid spends the summer busting his ass to get better. That's what caused him to shoot up some projections.
Finn is small, or at least not big, at 6-0, 185lb. He skates pretty well according to reports, but isn't a burner. He's going to need some years to get stronger before he cracks an NHL roster, because no matter how well his IQ might be developed he's going to have to win some battles. But IQ is something you can't teach, which makes him attractive.
Finn is projected to go anywhere from 15 through to the end of the first round, so there's a good chance he will be around when the Hawks pick. Finn sounds like a floor guy instead of a ceiling guy, if the Bears fans in the audience want to wretch. But all the reports about Finn's feel for the game make it seem like he'll eventually be a decent presence in the NHL, even if it's only on your bottom two pairs. But you'd get something out of him, instead of a boom or bust pick that some other players might be.