VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Boxing/MMA
Fantasy Sports
More
Betting Tools

 
Penguins keeping rookie D Olli Maatta

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Olli Maatta is sticking with the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Advertisement
The team announced Thursday the 19-year-old defenseman will remain with the club indefinitely rather than return to his junior team, the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League. The Penguins could have sent Maatta back down and pushed back his rookie status until next year.

Instead, Maatta remain in Pittsburgh and enter the first year of his entry-level contract. If he stays more than 40 games, he can become a free agent by age 25.

It's heady territory for a kid who in high school a year ago.

''It's gone good so far so why change anything?'' Maatta said.

Maatta, who is from Finland, has one goal and two assists while averaging around 15 minutes of ice time a game for the Penguins. The 22nd overall pick in the 2012 NHL entry draft has wowed coach Dan Bylsma with his skating and impressed teammates with his ability to adapt quickly to the sport's highest level.

''I think he's played nine games in a row because he's earned the right to play nine games in a row because he's given us the best chance to win hockey games and that's going to happen in the 10th game too,'' Bylsma said.

The odds seemed long during training camp, when Maatta's NHL debut figured to be at least a year away. He made a compelling case for himself during the preseason and was a surprise addition when he survived the final cuts.

''I feel like I worked hard for this and they feel like I still need to work hard and get better,'' he said. ''But I feel better about staying here.''

Maatta isn't a potent offensive player but hasn't hesitated when given the opportunity. His first NHL goal came in a 4-3 shootout win over Vancouver last Saturday when he poked in a rebound with 6:48 remaining in regulation to tie the game.

Though Maatta insists the goal wasn't his ''welcome to the NHL moment'' there's little doubt it gave him a boost that's helped him believe he belonged.

''Every game I've got more confident out there,'' he said. ''Every game I get more confident that I can play at this level.''

NOTES: The Penguins recalled F Jayson Megna from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the AHL and placed F Beau Bennett on injured reserve retroactive to Oct. 12 ... D Kris Letang, who has not played this season due to a lower body injury, practiced on Thursday and Bylsma said it is ''likely'' Letang will make be in the lineup on Friday when the Penguins host the New York Islanders.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
BetOnline.ag: 2017-18 Season Win Totals
News: Vegas Golden Knights Odds
Preds sign F Arvidsson to 7-year deal
Coyotes sign Martinook to two-year deal
Red Wings ink Tatar to 4-year pact
Predators promote McCarthy to associate
Marcus Foligno seeks more in Minnesota
Blackhawks F Wingels to miss 8 weeks
Senators F Dyzingel agrres to contract
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NHL Pro Hockey Handicapper Sports Picks Records
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2016 NHL SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bill Marzano + 6094
Bruce Marshall + 5708
Stephen Nover + 1083
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 2199
Bill Marzano + 1384
Stephen Nover + 1329
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Scott Rickenbach + 927
Bruce Marshall + 630
Doc's Sports + 127
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 3721
Scott Rickenbach + 3715
Bill Marzano + 2697
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 720
Bill Marzano + 534
ASA + 95
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bruce Marshall + 2602
Bill Marzano + 492
Gary Bart + 314
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership