2021-22 Team: Madison Capitols (USHL)
Date of Birth: August 8, 2004
Place of Birth: Suamico, WI, USA
Ht: 6-foot Wt: 170 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2022 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 36th (amongst North American Skaters)
- McKeen’s Hockey: 84th
- Peter Baracchini’s May Rankings: 113th
- Smaht Scouting: 77th
Most number-one overall picks don’t have to worry about playing for another team after they’re drafted. However in the case of Madison Capitol’s forward Quinn Finley, the pandemic had something to say about that.
The Capitols took Finley first overall in the USHL Futures Draft. But thanks to the effects from the pandemic both the Capitols and Cedar Rapids RoughRiders had to suspend operations and couldn’t play in the 2020-21 season. As a result, the USHL held a Dispersal Draft for players on both teams. Finley was selected by the Chicago Steel in that draft.
Related: THW 2022 NHL Draft Guide
In 39 games for the Steel, Finley scored once and recorded six points. Of note, he got to play with and learn from standout players in Mackie Samoskevich and Matthew Coronado. Things then got back to normal in Madison and the Capitols were allowed to return to play as restrictions eased up. Finley stayed ready throughout and took the opportunity to make an impact with the Capitols.
Finley scored 12 goals and 29 points for the Capitols in 2021-22 while helping his team get to the Clark Cup Final for the first time in franchise history. He added 5-5-10 in 14 playoff games including a goal in Game 1 of the Final to open the scoring. The Capitols ultimately fell to Sioux City in the series.
Finley’s good season did not come easy for him. In a game against the Youngstown Phantoms back in November, he broke his collarbone. It cost him almost three months of his draft year.
Once Finley returned to the lineup in February, he wasted no time making an immediate impact. In his second game back, he recorded a goal and an assist against Youngstown. Once he shook off the rust of his extended absence, he started to show why scouts were interested in him.
Finley scored six points in a two-game set against the Green Bay Gamblers which included a hat trick. On the first night, he showed his playmaking ability. On the second night, he showed his ability to finish.
But what stands out about Finley? In a word, it’s speed. His skating is a big reason why he jumped up nine spots in the final Central Scouting rankings. In watching the Clark Cup Finals, his speed was on display. He can create separation and can also close the gap quickly on his opponents. Forechecking is not an issue for him.
While the speed is a plus, Finley does need to work on other elements of his game. He will continue to work on his consistency especially defensively. In addition he does need to get stronger. While he’s great in open ice, he will need to improve in puck and wall battles along with puck protection.
In all, whoever drafts Finley gets a hard-working player who is a plus skater with flashes of offense. One cannot overlook his ability to overcome the unexpected. He is certainly worth a look later in the draft given his age (turns 18 in August) and continued development eventually at the University of Wisconsin.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Quinn Finley — NHL Draft Projection
Despite his final Central Scouting ranking of 36, most in the industry believe Finley will be a later-round pick. In terms of how high he could go, middle of round three feels like the area where someone will see his skating and take their shot. Given he doesn’t turn 18 until after the draft, he has a lot of room to grow and will have Tony Granato eventually helping with his development.
“Finley still has a ways to go to fill out his lanky frame but his physical tools stand out in regards to his skating and puck skills.” –hockeyprospect.com
Finley is a speedy, offensive-minded winger with solid instincts that make him effective in the offensive zone. His speed is his best asset. Finley pushes the pace whenever he’s on the ice, with or without the puck. He has quick bursts of speed that allow him to pull away from his opponents and he has the stamina and leg strength to maintain his high skating pace for long stretches of time.” –Future Considerations
- Can finish around the net
Under Construction — Improvements to Make
- Needs to get stronger
- Defensive consistency
Finley’s skating gives him NHL potential. How he develops in the USHL and then at Wisconsin will dictate if he reaches his full potential. This upcoming season will tell a lot if he is able to dominate the USHL.
Risk — 4/5, Reward — 3/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense — 7/10, Defense — 6/10
Finley was the first pick of the 2020 USHL Futures Draft. In March 2022, he was named USHL Forward of the Week.
Quinn Finley Statistics
I am a fully credentialed writer who covers the Columbus Blue Jackets, Cleveland Monsters and Erie Otters as well as the Ontario Hockey League and NHL Draft. The 2021-22 season will mark eight seasons with the Hockey Writers. I am also the site’s Credentials Manager.