There were a lot of scraps beyond salary cap space acquired in the Michael Grabner salary dump, but it's anyone's guess which piece will end up being the most useful to the New York Islanders.
Included in the "useful" criteria, we must have "serves the AHL affiliate well."
That's what we have from the remnants so far, and that includes Matt Finn. Finn comes in at #22 on our Spring 2016 Top 25 Under 25 countdown, though it's clear from the first few entries that several of these players could have ended up anywhere in the 20-25 & Beyond area of our rankings.
Only five of our eight panelists had Finn in our top 25, but a few higher votes had him above the other partial ballot arrivals on this list so far.
Though he was once more highly regarded as a 35th overall pick by Toronto, his appearance here isn't due to the kind of extended hope that is often attached to earlier picks (e.g. "hey, he was a first rounder, so..."). He made progress last season split between AHL Bridgeport and ECHL Missouri, and 2016-17 is likely to give him a bigger opportunity on the Sound Tigers blueline -- and he'll need it in the final year of his ELC.
Like anyone this low in our ranking, the chances of making an impact in the NHL are slim. But the jury is still rightly out on Finn.
|King (CIL)||Keith||Mike B.||McNally||Garik||Dominik||Leboff||Les|
David King (CanadianIslesLifer):
A reclamation project obtained from the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Michael Grabner trade, Finn was once a highly ranked prospect. He was drafted 35th overall in 2012, "The Year of the Defenseman" (the Islanders selected Ville Pokka 34th). A point producer in juniors with the OHL's Guelph Storm, Finn struggled with the pace of the pro game in the AHL.
Though he still has a way to go to get to the NHL, Finn has been improving/getting his career back on track, both with the Islanders ECHL affiliate (Missouri Mavericks) and the Islanders AHL affiliate (the Bridge Port Sound Tigers). Finn should be a regular top 5 Dman for Bridge Port in 2016-17.
Not much was expected from him from the Grabner trade, though he was picked 35th overall in 2012. He came around a good amount last season, moving from Missouri to Bridgeport. The points are somewhat impressive and while +/- is a bad statistic, he's almost almost always higher than everyone else on his team.
Finn's first pro season in the Toronto organization was, for lack of a better word, gross. But last year Finn showed improvement in ECHL Missouri, and continued to show offensive punch after a call-up to Bridgeport.
With Pulock and possibly Pelech up on the Island full-time next season, Finn will get every opportunity to continue his progress with the Sound Tigers.
I rated hm 21st and I'm not sure why. Maybe because the balance of the list is so poor.