The London Knights have another potential European superstar lined up.
On Wednesday, the defending OHL champs snapped up the ninth-overall pick in the upcoming Canadian Hockey League import draft from the Peterborough Petes in exchange for a second-round pick in the OHL priority selection next year, a fourth-rounder in 2014 and a seventh-rounder in 2015.
"We paid a big price to move up, but we paid a big price last year (to move up to first overall) and we got Olli (Maatta)," London co-owner Dale Hunter said. "He came in and fit right in on our blue-line.
"You don't mind doing it to get a player like that."
Maatta cost the Knights veteran defenceman Reid McNeill, who has signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins, second- and third-round picks and their own first import selection, all which went to Barrie.
All the 17-year-old from Finland did this year was put together one of the best playoffs by a defenceman in Knights history and position himself as a first-round pick for next weekend's NHL draft in Pittsburgh.
Each team is allowed to carry two import players and the Knights already expect forward Vladislav Namestnikov, the Tampa Bay first-rounder, is off to the pro ranks, potentially with the defending Calder Cup champion Norfolk Admirals, after two years in London.
"Vladdy's signed, he's gone, that's the way you have to figure it," Dale Hunter said.
By Ryan Pyette, The London Free Press, June 13, 2012
|1.||Sean DayDetroit Compuware U16 (HPHL)|
|2.||Zach WerenskiDetroit Little Caesars U18 (HPHL)|
|3.||Travis KonecnyElgin Middlesex Chiefs (ALLIANCE)|
|4.||Dylan StromeToronto Marlboros (GTHL)|
|5.||Matt SpencerOakville Rangers (OMHA - SCTA)|
|6.||Jordan GreenwayShattuck St. Mary's (US Prep)|
|7.||Lawson CrouseElgin Middlesex Cheifs (ALLIANCE)|
|8.||Luke KirwanMiddlesex Islanders (EJHL)|
|9.||Brett McKenzieOakville Rangers (OMHA - SCTA)|
|10.||Brendan WarrenDetroit Compuware U16 (ALLIANCE)|
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