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Pensburgh 2014-15 Season in Review: Olli Maatta

Remember him?

Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Age: 20 (22 August 1994)

Contract Status: Signed through 2015-16 (ELC), $894,167 AAV

2014-15 Stats











Corsi For %

Corsi Rel %

Goals for %

Zone Start %


51.1 %

4.2 %

55.6% 31.5% Off v. 31.5% Def


Penguins 2014-15 Defensemen

maatta table 2014

Most Frequent Defense Partners


Goals For % Together

Corsi For % Together

Total 5v5 Time

Christian Ehrhoff 58.3 % 44.7 % 160:55

Kris Letang

54.5 % 56.6 % 130:13

Paul Martin

66.7 % 60.0 % 18:46

He wouldn't be a Penguin if he was ever on the ice.

Olli Maatta's 2014-15 season was beset by what had to be some of the worst single-season luck in the league. An offseason shoulder injury resulted in two surgeries in a year's time, the latter of which ended his season for good. He successfully beat a bout with thyroid cancer between shoulder procedures and, oh what the hell, caught the mumps for a spell, too.

His second season was supposed to bring big things following his standout rookie campaign, but Maatta was never really able to get any traction as problem after problem held him out until the final shoulder surgery sealed it for the year.

So It's a New Year. No Pressure

Kris Letang is the top defenseman in Pittsburgh. His veteran support, including partner Paul Martin, appears to be headed for free agency while the team looks to game the salary cap get younger on defense.

Maatta appears destined to be Letang's defense partner. He is the highest ceiling player in the group not named Letang or Derrick Pouliot, and Pouliot still figures to cut his teeth in what will be his first full season.

Coming off a year in which he played just 20 games and battled three separate and serious ailments, Maatta is essentially a second-year player being counted on to help anchor a defense group that he's still too young to take to the bar.

No pressure at all.

The Hyvä

It's hard to pile up the stats when you play just a quarter of the schedule, but Maatta still led the defense in some deeper metrics that would have looked really, really good over the course of a full season.

In his limited time, Maatta led all Penguins defensemen in points/60 (1.31), assists/60 (1.12), primary assists/60 (.75), individual assists percentage (40.0 percent -- that is, assisting on goals scored while he was on the ice) and individual points percentage (46.7 percent -- collecting any kind of point on goals scored while he's on the ice). In other words, he's not often a passenger when his shifts end in group hugs and high fives.

Maatta also finished as a positive contributor to shot attempt percentage (51.1 percent Corsi for) and had the second-highest shots for number, 32.15, on the team. He trailed only Kris Letang in that regard.

The Huono

Injuries, injuries, injuries.

Nothing is so singularly responsible for the Penguins' troubles in the last half-decade as injuries. Not Ray Shero's drafting, not Dan Bylsma's politely refused line matching -- nothing.

That's a hell of a thing, to be among the league leaders in man-games lost and quality of man-games lost over such a span of time.

Maatta suffered the ignominy of joining that group this season, missing 62 games and ending his campaign on long-term injured reserve.

There's almost no explaining the Penguins' troubles in this regard, and you can't pin mumps and cancer on a bad training staff. Last season stuck the pins to Maatta's voodoo doll. There's not much he can do in the final year of his entry-level contract to avoid these troubles again but to hope for a little better luck.

Trending Social Media Asset of the Year

Maatta had only one goal this season. It was a Pretty Okay.

Preseason Expectations

Maatta was stellar in his rookie campaign. The second go-round should have seen more of the same without the rookie fatigue that set in near the end of his 2013-14 season.

That, like all else, was put on hold by his various ailments.


A big fat "I" for incomplete. Not much you can do but to hope for better luck next season.

Feel free to vote in the poll below to grade Olli Maatta's season on a scale from 1 to 10. Vote based on your expectations for him coming into the season -- i.e. 1 being "he was incredibly disappointing and I want him out now", 10 being "he was outstanding even beyond my craziest expectations".