Flint, Mich. – The Flint Firebirds announced today that the club has completed a trade with the London Knights.
In the trade, the Firebirds acquire defenseman and Toronto Maple Leafs’ draft pick Nicolas Mattinen (pronounced MATT-i-nen) from the Knights in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2018 OHL Draft, a second-round pick in the 2019 OHL Draft and Niagara’s second-round pick in the 2020 OHL Draft. Should Mattinen play his overage year next season, London would obtain the Firebirds’ third-round pick in the 2019 OHL Draft as well.
“This is a significant step forward for our hockey club,” said Flint Firebirds General Manager Barclay Branch. “Nicolas brings a wealth of experience to Flint and is a defenseman that has a real presence, both on-the-ice and in the dressing room, and will be a good leader for our young players. He is a type of player that is conscious defensively and has an offensive side to him as well.”
Mattinen, a six-foot-five, 218-pound defenseman, was a sixth-round draft pick (179th overall) of the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2016 NHL Draft. Through two seasons with the Knights, Mattinen recorded six goals and 12 assists totaling 18 points, including a plus-15 rating and 99 penalty minutes. He was a key member of the Knights when London won the OHL Championship in the 2015-16 season.
“It’s pretty surreal, it’s really exciting and I’m looking forward to the opportunity in Flint,” said Mattinen. “I’ve heard a lot of good things about the organization, that it’s ran like a professional team and about the work ethic that the coaches expect out of the guys. I’m just looking forward to being a part of the team this year.”
Prior to playing with the Knights, the Ottawa, Ont. native racked up 20 points (6G, 14A) in 30 games with the Eastern Ontario Wild Minor Midget AAA Hockey Club. He also notched four goals and 10 assists in 53 games with the Cumberland Grads in the Central Canada Hockey League (CCHL) during the 2014-15 season, eventually being named to the CCHL’s All-Rookie Team.
The Firebirds begin their third season in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) this Friday, Sep. 22 in Kitchener, Ont. The Firebirds play the Rangers with puck drop set for 7:30 p.m. at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.
The Firebirds will return to the Dort Federal Event Center for the 2017-18 OHL regular season Opening Night on Saturday, Sep. 30. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. against the Ottawa 67’s and all fans in attendance will receive free rally towels and magnet schedules, sponsored by Dort Federal Credit Union and Little Caesars. Opening Night tickets can be purchased at the Dort Federal Event Center Box Office, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (ET), by calling (810) 744-0580 or online at ticketmaster.com here.
For season ticket information, flex tickets or group outings, contact Dominic Gutierrez at (810) 701-8536 or email@example.com. To book a private suite, please contact Karla Turner at (810) 744-0580 ext. 213 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo Credit: Aaron Bell / OHL Images
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