Olli Maatta
Olli Maatta
25-Year-Old DefensemanD
Chicago Blackhawks
2019 Fantasy Outlook
The Penguins decided to trade Maatta to Chicago in exchange for Dominik Kahun and a draft pick in June, so he'll be suiting up for the second team of his career in 2019-20 after spending six seasons in Pittsburgh. The 24-year-old Finn put together a solid campaign in 2018-19, notching one goal and 14 points while posting a plus-9 rating in 60 contests, but those numbers don't move the needle much from a fantasy standpoint. The 2012 first-round pick will likely have to settle for a bottom-pairing role with his new club, but he'll also likely be deployed on Chicago's primary penalty-killing unit, and should log north of 18 minutes of ice time on a nightly basis. Maatta has only appeared in all 82 games once during his six-year career, so health is always a concern for him, but if he's able to avoid the injury bug, he could threaten the 30-point mark this year, making him a decent depth option in most fantasy formats. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed a six-year contract extension with an average annual value of $4.083 million in February of 2016. Traded to the Blackhawks in June of 2019.
Two-point night
DChicago Blackhawks
November 7, 2019
Maatta registered two assists and was plus-2 in Thursday's 5-2 win over the Canucks.
It was Maatta's first multi-point effort of the season and his first time on the scoresheet since Oct. 22, halting a seven-game point drought. The first-year Blackhawk has never been one to provide a ton of offense from the blue line, twice topping out at 29 points while with Pittsburgh.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Perhaps the most important stat gleaned from Maatta last season was his games-played total, as he featured in all 82 regular-season contests for the first time in his career. In fact, it was the first time since his rookie campaign that the Finn even logged 70-plus contests. With a bevy of medical issues behind him, the defender came just one goal or assist shy of the 30-point mark. The biggest concern in terms of fantasy production for Maatta is his pairing with Justin Schultz, who has discovered his offensive game since coming over from Edmonton. One of those players will need to stay home defensively and more likely than not, the task will fall to the 23-year-old Maatta. However, he should see some time with the second power-play unit and that could end up being his saving grace in the fantasy realm.
Like allied defenseman Kris Letang, injuries have plagued Maatta in his career. This past season, the Finn only made 55 regular-season appearances, as he dealt with everything from minor illnesses to a hand injury that required surgery. Fortunately for Pittsburgh, he returned in time for the playoffs, appearing in all 25 games and tallying a pair of goals to complement six helpers. The 2012 first-round pick is unlikely to see much action on the power play, but he could evolve into a serviceable fantasy option by falling somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 goals and 30 points -- two thresholds he has yet to meet -- though he may need to earn a few more even-strength shifts to achieve those numbers.
Maatta didn’t look like himself for part of 2015-16, even serving as a healthy scratch at one point. Still only 22 and already in his fourth NHL season, the defenseman notched only six goals and 19 points in 67 games while missing time to a concussion and an upper-body injury. Despite the disappointing results, it’s important to keep in mind that Maatta hasn’t come close to peaking. Good health has thus far eluded him since his rookie season, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see a 40-point season out of the Finnish defender in the next couple years. Pittsburgh’s banking on improvement – the organization gave him a six-year contract extension worth nearly $25 million in February of 2016 – as he distances himself from two shoulder surgeries.
Last season started with a wealth of promise for Maatta, but things certainly didn't go according to plan. Offseason shoulder surgery led to him barely getting cleared in time to open the season. One month later, he hit injured reserve to have a cancerous tumor in his thyroid surgically removed; upon returning, Maatta got just 10 more games in before a second shoulder injury (with a case of the mumps to boot) ended his season early. The good news is that Maatta is still quite young -- this will be his age-21 season -- and thus there's room for optimism that his body will bounce back from these multitude of ailments. When healthy, he's proven himself to be one of the league's finest young two-way defensemen, with 38 points and a plus-9 rating in his first 98 NHL contests. There's plenty of upside from there, especially with Maatta projected to see top-pairing minutes with some power-play time this year.
At age 19, Maatta surprised observers with an excellent rookie season at both ends of the ice. Picked 22nd overall in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the Finnish defenseman scored nine goals and 29 points in 78 games. He also helped fantasy owners with 112 blocks and even saw a little power-play time, netting three goals and three assists on the man-advantage. Maatta will serve as a top-four blueliner in 2014-15, though he might miss the first handful of games or so due to offseason shoulder surgery. He's thought to be more of a two-way player than an offensive defenseman, but his freshman campaign gave fantasy owners more than a little hope he can become a regular contributor in the scoring column.
Maatta, a first-round pick in 2012, has exceeded expectations at the OHL level. Known mostly as a defensive defenseman, Maatta has posted strong offensive numbers in his two seasons with the London Knights. He scored 32 points (5G, 27A) in 58 games in his first year and 38 points (8G, 30A) in 58 contests last season. Maatta has played well in the postseason and, despite some defensive areas that still need work, appears on the fast track to Pittsburgh. He doesn't have the offensive potential of fellow first-round pick, Derrick Pouliot, yet it wouldn't be surprising to see him become a better two-way player.
Pittsburgh selected Maatta with 22nd pick in the 2012 draft. He projects as a solid two-way defenseman without the upside of fellow first-round pick, Derrick Pouliot. Maatta has been slowed by concussions, but the Penguins are hopeful those issues are well behind him. The Finnish product posted five goals and 32 points in 58 games for London (OHL) but really picked up his play in the postseason. Maatta potted six goals and 17 assists in 19 games for the Knights. His offensive potential is not particularly high, but his ability to play both ends of the ice gives him a good chance of dressing in a Penguins sweater in the not-too-distant future.
More Fantasy News
Chips in with assist
DChicago Blackhawks
October 22, 2019
Maatta notched an assist in Tuesday's 2-1 shootout loss to the Golden Knights.
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Skating on second pairing
DChicago Blackhawks
October 16, 2019
Maatta has tallied one assist while averaging 17:58 of ice time in four games this campaign.
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Traded to Chicago
DChicago Blackhawks
June 15, 2019
Maatta was acquired by the Blackhawks from the Penguins on Saturday in exchange for forward Dominik Kahun and a 2019 fifth-round pick.
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Taken off injured reserve
DPittsburgh Penguins
March 29, 2019
Maatta (shoulder) has been activated off injured reserve, per the NHL's official media site.
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Targeting Friday return
DPittsburgh Penguins
March 26, 2019
Maatta (shoulder) is considered a game-time decision for Friday's matchup with the Predators, Michelle Crechiolo of Pens Inside Scoop reports.
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