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08-27-2011, 07:17 AM
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The Hockey News has an article about Olli Mtt on their latest issue. (The one with Datsyuk on the cover).

A few quotes:
I went over to Germany to watch him at the under-18s and he stood out, said London coach Dale Hunter. He was an underager playing a year up. Hes big and strong and he plays both ways, offense and defense. For a guy who was a year younger than the others there, he was outstanding; one of the best D there.

And Maatta wont be alone on the Knights blueline. Returning to the fold are two solid NHL prospects in Jarred Tinordi and Scott Harrington. Were going to be real solid back there, Hunter said. Were going to have the Big Three and when you roll them out every other shift, good things will happen.

Taken right before Russian Mikhail Grigorenko, who was snapped up by Patrick Roys Quebec Remparts, Maatta is quite happy with his new home in London. Ive heard everything good about that place, he said. Its one of the best organizations in junior hockey and has one of the best coaching staffs.

Along with his new major junior experience, Maatta will also get another crack at the world juniors. The Finns cratered after a great round robin in Buffalo, but the team has a solid core (Suomi has another rising prospect in 2012-eligible defenseman Ville Pokka) and their star underaged blueliner is ready for full-time action after seeing spot duty in 2011. It was a good experience for me, Maatta said. Next year, I think I will play more."

The fact the young Finn is cool under pressure helps and with his pride in defensive play, opponents will have a tough time outsmarting the big backender. Maatta would like to work on his skating ability, but enemy forwards are already wary of what he brings to the table. Hes a very good defender, said Swedish 2012 prospect Filip Forsberg, who has faced Maatta several times internationally. Hes mobile and a great puck carrier.

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