What about his mandatory army service in Finland? They still have conscription there. Can/will he get around that somehow?
Good point, He isn't eligible until he's 19 so maybe he'll go back to Finland for a year after the 12-13 season. According to wikipedia Mikael Granlund stayed in Finland for 11-12 season to complete his conscription.
So happy when we got him, because from what I saw, he was a complete boss on D. His positioning is pretty stellar.
I would be ecstatic if he would be allowed to hop right in on our defense(he has that potential), but I know the chances of that are next to zero. Obviously, there would be a learning curve, but this guy is a serious talent. It's a shame to send him back to London for another season when our defense might be terrible.
Obviously it's too early to say, but at this point I would say "not quite".
Maatta has a great shot, and he's got poise with the puck at the blueline on the PP, but I don't think he's quite as smooth & efficient as Kimmo, and as I mentioned before, he often makes high-risk/questionable passes that get picked off.
We'll see how he develops as he matures. He definitely has very high upside, but may not be as likely to reach it as guys like Pouliot or Morrow. I would say, however, that he probably has more pure offensive upside than Despres.
I have always thought that Kimmo Timonen was one of the most overrated defensemen in the league.
I don`t think he`s overrated by people in the hockey media or profession -- perhaps by Philly fans only. He`s not, nor ever has been, a Norris candidate, but he`s he would be an amazing 2nd pairing Dman and can go up against some really good players. In fact, wasn`t it Sid who recentlfy said Timonen was one of the hardest Dman to play against?
Anyway, the only thing that`s probably kept Timonen from being an elite #1 guy is because he`s not 6`2, 200+lbs. Olli Maatta is 6`2 and 200+lbs, and if we`re comparing him to Kimmo Timonen, that would be a pretty awesome player. I`ll be thrilled if that`s how he develops, considering he`s not even one of our top 2 or 3 Dman prospects.