The Penguins could have sent the 19-year-old Maatta back to his junior team, a move that would have pushed back the clock on Maatta's NHL service time. Instead, general manager Ray Shero decided to keep Maatta in Pittsburgh, calling it the best decision for Maatta and the Penguins.
Maatta has been solid during Pittsburgh's 7-2 start. He has one goal and two assists in nine games and impressed his teammates with his skating and decision-making skills.
What we expected is what we got. Very mature young individual that's focused. He is on the right track. He's not only a great hockey individual, but he's a good person off the ice. He seemed to take a leadership role with this group right off the hop and ran away with it, and was vocal, was respectful, was everything it takes to be a Panther. His future looks bright.
— Florida Panthers director of player development Brian Skrudland on defenseman Aaron Ekblad's performance at development camp