Matt Taormina

Hometown:

Washington Township Michigan

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1986-10-20

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2004

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

Height:

5-10

Acquired:

Trade with Tampa Bay, 2014

Weight:

185 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • B

History

2009-10: After a fairly unspectacular four-year run at Providence College, Matt Taormina garnered little interest from NHL teams, and signed an AHL deal for the 2009-10 season. By the end of the year, Taormina had earned himself an NHL contract after a spectacular 10-goal, 40-assist season. He finished seventh among all AHL blueliners with 50 points, while finishing second behind Montreal phenom P.K. Subban for points by rookie defensemen. Those 50 points in 75 games was good enough to place him third on Lowell in team scoring. He was not afraid to shoot, with a team-leading 191 shots, a rare feat for a defenseman. He showed great power-play quarterbacking ability with eight of his 10 markers coming with the man advantage. He scored a goal and three assists in five playoff games.

2010-11: Taormina opened the season with the Devils out of training camp after playing for then-coach John MacLean the previous season with AHL Albany. Taormina's offensive, skating game seemed to fit the up-tempo style that MacLean tried to install and he saw significant ice-time before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in November. In 17 games, Taormina scored 3 goals with 2 assists and was -2 with 2 PMs. Taormina was re-signed to a one-year contract by the Devils in July, 2011.

2011-12: Taormina split the season between New Jersey and the Devils' AHL affiliate Albany in his third pro season. He made his first appearance with the Devils in December after opening the year in the AHL and played 12 games before going back to Albany in early January. He shuffled  between the two clubs – appearing in his final NHL game on March 27th. Taormina scored 1 goal with 6 assists and was plus-six with 4 penalty minutes in 30 games with the Devils; averaging 16:32 minutes of ice time. In 33 AHL games he scored 6 goals with 10 assists and was plus-four with 12 penalty minutes. He was with the Devils during their run to the Stanley Cup finals but did not play in any games. He signed a one-year contract with the Lightning as an unrestricted free agent in July, 2012.

 

Talent Analysis

Taormina’s size will always be a knock against him, but in this day in age in the NHL, that is not nearly the hindrance it once was. He is an offensive minded defenseman first and foremost. Taormina is a great skater who is supremely confident with the puck on his stick and loves to lead the rush up the ice. His distribution skills are above-average and while he doesn’t have the hardest point shot, he is good at getting it through traffic and on net. His defensive play is definitely not a strength, but it is adequate enough to the point where he isn’t a constant liability in his own end.

 

Future

Taormina looks to be a guy who can man the power play while providing solid minutes as a number 4/5 defenseman.

Taormina was dealt along with Dana Tyrell by the Tampa Bay Lightning to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for Jonathan Marchessault and Dalton Smith at the 2014 NHL Trade Deadline.

 

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