Edmonton Oilers Prospect Countdown #18 – Joel Määttä

Bruce Curlock
10 months ago
Our third Hockey East player, Joel Määttä is in at #18 on the Edmonton Oilers prospect countdown.
Position: Center
Shoots: Left
Nationality: Finland
Date of Birth: July 6, 2002
Drafted: 7th Round Pick, 2022
Height: 6’1″ / 185 cm
Weight: 201lbs / 91 kg
Ranking last year: Not ranked
As noted above, here is the another of the collegiate prospects the Oilers have either drafted late or signed as free agents out of the U.S. collegiate ranks. Also, similar to his Hockey East colleagues, Määttä brings a defensive focus to his game. However, this is where the similarities between he and Carl Berglund and Filip Engaras end.
The most notable difference is that Määttä is quite a bit younger than the other two having just turned 21 this past July. So while he was an overage draft pick, he is quite young relatively speaking.
Why this is notable is that Määttä has some offensive chops to his game and he’s doing it quite a bit younger than Berglund and Engaras. That means there is hope that Määttä can score at rates that give him some promise to be a complete player at the professional level. When I watch Määttä, I do see a player that has reasonable offensive skills. Here is a great clip that illustrates a good, solid skating stride, very nice pucks skills and some finish to his game.

Failed to load video.

What we will want to see is his point totals accelerate in his third collegiate year at Vermont. While it might be a stretch, approaching a point-per-game plateau would show signs this player has some offensive skill that can translate. What makes me think this is a possibility is his play at the World Juniors in the summer of 2022 where he played top six minutes on a team with Kemmel, Raty, Lambert and Jarventie. He was second on the team in power-play goals over the short tournament. There is offensive skill in this player.
The other notable difference that Määttä has is he is built like a tank and plays that way. If Määttä wants to play professional hockey, I have zero concern about his ability to play physical and withstand the grind of playing against big men every night. Look at the start of this clip on a goal he scores where he gets engaged by two players. No loss of balance, but instead is re-directed momentarily before heading straight back to the net.

Failed to load video.

I think Määttä could be a strong force on the walls as a professional player because of both his size and the sturdy nature of how he skates. He’s very hard to disrupt. Also, the finish on that goal is really composed.
I also happen to think that Määttä is a better defender than the other two collegiate centers we have covered in the Countdown. This started when I saw him at the World Juniors that were held over the summer of 2022. He was used as a shutdown center and had a great seven games against Kent Johnson and Logan Stankoven. The only time that line was effective was when Määttä was not on the ice against them in overtime, when they scored the winning goal.
Määttä is a hard attack defender. Meaning he gets into the hips and hands of the offensive player quickly and often before they have the puck. He uses his strength and skating balance to separate players from the puck.  All assets that will translate well to the professional game.
He is also an excellent face-off man going 57% last season in Vermont.
For Määttä, the progress we want to see this year is offensive. He does shoot the puck with some consistency averaging two shots per game, but we want to see that increase along with his point totals. If that occurs, the Oilers will certainly have something to be excited about given his draft position in 2022.
In order to qualify for this prospect countdown, a player must be under the age of 25 at the start of the season and have played less than 50 NHL games.

Previous names in the countdown

Check out these posts...