Penguins Will Keep Rookie Maatta on Roster

Olli_maatta_2013The Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday announced defenseman Olli Maatta would be remaining with the team for the remainder of the season.

Maatta, 19, has a goal and two assists in nine games while averaging 15:03 of ice time per game.

“Based on his play, we believe this is the best decision for Olli and the Penguins,” Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero said.

Taken by the Penguins with the 22nd pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, Pittsburgh had to decide prior to Maatta playing his 10th game — which will be Friday against the New York Islanders — whether to keep him in the NHL or return him to his junior team, the London Knights of the Ontario Hockey League and delay by one season the start of his three-year, entry-level contract. Due to his age and the fact that he was drafted from a Canadian Hockey League team, Maatta is ineligible to play in the American Hockey League.