Ontario Hockey League grad Matt Finn has moved from the New York Islanders organization and will start 2017-18 in the AHL with the Charlotte Checkers (Carolina Hurricanes). Finn was a standout defenseman and team captain with the Guelph Storm and spent 2016-17 mostly in the ECHL with the Missouri Mavericks.
Matt Finn played four years in the OHL from 2010-11 to 2013-14, all with the Guelph Storm. The Storm drafted him 12th overall at the 2010 OHL Priority Selection. Over his four years, Finn score 38 and assisted on 123 for 161 points from the blue line in 228 regular season games. In 31 playoff games, Matt added 14 points. He was captain for the Storm in his final two seasons.
2013-14 was a standout season for Finn. He totaled 61 points in 66 regular season games, earning a spot as a Third Team OHL All-Star. His +57 was tops in the league and Matt was honoured with the Mickey Renaud Captain’s Trophy for commitment. Guelph won the championship, beating the North Bay Battalion in the finals.
The Toronto Maple Leafs selected Finn in the second round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, 35th overall. Since 2014-15, he has played pro hockey in the American Hockey League and ECHL. To date, Matt has appeared in just two post season games over his pro career, both with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers in the 2015-16 AHL Calder Cup playoffs.
This past season, Finn played just two games in the AHL, both the Sound Tigers. He spent the rest of the season in the ECHL with the Missouri Mavericks. Over 53 games with the now Kansas City Mavericks, Matt scored eleven and assisted on 21 for 32 points.
Currently affiliated with the Carolina Hurricanes in the NHL and the ECHL’s Florida Everblades, the Charlotte Checkers name has a checkered past. The present AHL franchise began in 2010-11 after the Albany River Rats franchise relocated. A previous version played in the EHL and SHL from 1956-57 to 1976-77, winning three titles in the EHL and two more in the SHL. The next Charlotte Checkers team played in the ECHL from 1993-94 to 2009-10, winning the Riley Cup (now Kelly Cup) in 1995-96.
This past season, 2016-17, the Checkers lost early in the Eastern Conference quarter-finals. Home games for the club are played at the Bojangles Coliseum in Charlotte, North Carolina. The venue opened in 1955 and has been renovated several times, as recent as 2016. The arena seats 8,600 for hockey.
Potential OHL alumni teammates for Matt Finn this winter include Alex Nedeljkovic, Trevor Carrick, Steven Lorentz and Zack Stortini. With AHL rosters anything but set in stone this early, all or none could be with the club in October. Nedeljkovic played four years in the OHL from 2012-13 to 2015-16 with the Plymouth Whalers, Flint Firebirds and Niagara IceDogs in St. Catharines, Ontario. Carrick played three years from 2011-12 to 2013-14 with the Majors, Mississauga Steelheads and Sudbury Wolves. Lorentz is just coming off a four year career with the Peterborough Petes and Stortini played four years with the Sudbury Wolves from 2001-02 to 2004-05.
Matt Finn OHL Stats