Get to know a draft pick — Matthew Finn

All week leading up to the 2012 NHL Entry Draft in Pittsburgh, we’ll be profiling top prospects who may hear their names called Friday in the first round. Nothing too in-depth. Just enough so you know who they are and what they’re about.

Matthew Finn (D)

Height: 6’0 Weight: 195 Shoots: Left

Team: Guelph Storm (OHL)

Country: Canada

NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 16 among North American skaters

What kind of player is he?

Not the smoothest in the draft, but a strong work ethic and a newfound commitment to fitness translated into dramatic improvement this season, as Finn tallied 48 points in 61 games on a young Guelph squad. He likes to rush with the puck and has one of the better shots in the draft. However, according to McKeen’s, he “could improve his quick twitch muscles for faster response time out of the gate.” But hey, couldn’t we all?

Quotable:

“His conditioning is 100 times better this season. If you can imagine a 16-year-old being out of shape, he was. I had my year-end meeting with him and I said, ‘you can be a top 10 player or in the top seven rounds, you got to decide.’ That’s really ultimately on the player and, man, he went home and came back in phenomenal shape. I give full credit to him.” – Guelph head coach Scott Walker

More draft profiles:

Nail Yakupov

Filip Forsberg

Mikhail Grigorenko

Ryan Murray

Griffin Reinhart

Alex Galchenyuk

Derrick Pouliot

Malcolm Subban

Scroll Down For:

    Awful injury news for Blues’ Bouwmeester, Sanford

    Getty
    Leave a comment

    Hockey’s training camps and exhibition games share a lot of similarities, big-picture wise, with other sports.

    As much as they’re all about evaluating players trying to make rosters and rule tweaks heading into each season, the “winners” of a pre-season may just be the teams that make it out without any significant injuries. The St. Louis Blues aren’t one of those winners.

    The team announced unsettling injury updates for defenseman Jay Bouwmeester and forward Zach Sanford on Tuesday.

    Sanford is expected to miss five-to-six months after undergoing shoulder surgery. That virtually wipes out an important season for a guy who was still trying to stake his claim to a full-time roster spot.

    Bouwmeester’s situation is probably more troubling, potentially, as he’s already a key defenseman for the Blues (averaging more than 22 minutes last season, which was a slight decrease from recent work). The team announced that Bouwmeester suffered a fractured ankle and will be re-evaluated in three weeks.

    As tormenting as day-to-day updates can be, “check back in three weeks” makes for even great anxiety.

    It does open up some opportunities for other players in the Blues organization, for whatever that’s worth.

    This news comes shortly after the Ottawa Senators announced that Colin White will miss multiple weeks with a broken wrist.

    You almost wonder if we’ll start to see fewer practice updates like these:

    Senators’ prospect Colin White out 6-8 weeks with broken wrist

    Getty
    Leave a comment

    Bad news for the Ottawa Senators today.

    The club announced Tuesday that prospect center Colin White is out six to eight weeks with a broken left wrist.

    The Senators selected White 21st overall in the 2015 NHL Draft. After two years at Boston College, he signed his entry-level deal in April and appeared in two regular season games for Ottawa. He also appeared in a Stanley Cup playoff game, though he only saw 2:39 of ice time.

    That’s certainly disappointing for White, who could’ve had a shot to make the big club out of training camp. One of the question marks for Ottawa had been the status of fellow center Derick Brassard, who had offseason shoulder surgery with a recovery timeline of four to five months.

    “I come here and worry about myself, do the right things on and off the ice, take care of my body. If I’m playing well and taking care of my game, I’ll fight for a spot,” White told the Ottawa Citizen prior to training camp.

    It was a little on the foggy side for Canucks practice in Shanghai

    Leave a comment

    The Vancouver Canucks dealt with some adverse conditions as they hit the ice at Mercedes-Benz Arena in Shanghai in preparation for this week’s 2017 NHL China Games exhibition series versus the L.A. Kings.

    According to the pictures, it was a little on the foggy side for their practice.

    Is that . . . Henrik Sedin in the distance?

    The Canucks and Kings face off Thursday at Mercedes-Benz Arena, before traveling to Beijing for Saturday’s game at Wukesong Arena.

    The good news? It appears the fog was lifted in time for the Kings’ practice.

    NHL cracking down on slashing, faceoff violations to begin preseason

    Screen grab
    2 Comments

    The NHL has made it a point to crack down on slashing for the upcoming regular season. With the preseason underway, the foundation for the new standard is being set.

    Dating back to late June, the NHL had vowed to call slashing more closely after a number of incidents last season, including Marc Methot‘s gruesome finger injury, which was the result of a slash to the hands from Sidney Crosby.

    Monday’s game between the Islanders and Rangers featured nine slashing minor penalties. The Devils and Capitals were only 41 seconds into their preseason game Monday when Jimmy Hayes was called for slashing. A total of six slashing minors were called in that game — not to mention three faceoff violations.

    From the Washington Post:

    There’s been talk of being harder on slashing following several wrist, hand and finger injuries last season from dangerous stick work. “Now, as soon as your stick is off the ice and you touch the other players’ stick or hands, it was zero tolerance today,” Eller said. More surprising was the three faceoff violation penalties called in the first period of the game. That also represented a new emphasis from the league. “Cheating” on faceoffs has been commonplace, and for centers who’ve made their name winning faceoffs with a certain style and routine, staying perfectly within the red lines in the circle was an adjustment.

    According to Mark Spector of Sportsnet, the Senators-Maple Leafs game Monday also featured three faceoff violations. It appears right now there will be quite an adjustment for players across the league to the apparent crackdown on slashing and faceoff violations, especially early on.

    However, will this be the standard for the entire season? For the playoffs?

    “I have a tough time believing that in the playoffs, in Game 7, that kind of call is going to be made,” Mark Letestu told Sportsnet. “Right now, there’s an overemphasis on it, and hopefully it doesn’t go all the way back to where it was.”