U-19 and U-18 national teams

Pekka Lampinen
01-14-2004, 01:17 AM
Although the U-19 team is known as the U-20 national team B, I now mean next year's WJC team by it. What kind of a team can make the poor '85 age group avoid a disaster again, and can the '86ers go for gold? Speculation in its purest form.

U-19:

Petteri Nokelainen - Arsi Piispanen - Masi Marjamäki
Teemu Nurmi - Jarmo Jokila - Lauri Tukonen
Pasi Salonen - Aki Seitsonen - Juhamatti Aaltonen
Tuomas Santavuori - Valtteri Tenkanen - Jesse Joensuu
Jesse Saarinen

Piispanen is moved to center because he has the best chance to be as productive as the #1 centers before him (Hämäläinen, Immonen, Ruutu, Filppula), Finnish junior teams can't afford to lose even more production. Frankly, I don't believe Joensuu will be picked, but there are no decent alternatives for now. An emerging talent will probably take his place.

Ville Mäntymaa - Otto Honkaheimo
Mikko Kuukka - Erkka Leppänen
Risto Korhonen - Olli-Pekka Komulainen
Niko Vainio

The blueline is terribly short of offensive talent, here's hoping that Mäntymaa will produce like in the U-18 WC and Honkaheimo will pick up from there, with some support from Leppänen. I'm praying that there will be better alternatives for Komulainen and Vainio.

Eero Kilpeläinen/Aleksis Ahlqvist/Tuukka Rask

Kilpeläinen is not the next link in the Kiprusoff-Toskala-Noronen-Ahonen-Lehtonen-Toivonen line. It would be the perfect time for an underaged starter again, but Ahlqvist, as good as he is, is being outperformed by Rask. An '87er would be quite a stretch, but the Czechs did it with Schwarz this year, and Rask's accomplishments so far are second only to Lehtonen.

In overall, the team looks better now that the '86ers are readier to support their inferiors at an older age.


U-18:

Petteri Nokelainen - Jarmo Jokila - Lauri Tukonen
Henri Heino - Aki Seitsonen - Miika Lahti
Jesse Uronen - Mikko Alikoski - Jesse Joensuu
Joni Finell - Petteri Wirtanen - Tuomas Kiiskinen
Jari Sailio

There's nothing wrong with these lines, maybe expect for the second line wingers.

Risto Korhonen - Erkka Leppänen
Tuomas Gärdström - Teemu Laakso
Antti Turunen - Vesa Kulmala
Juho Mielonen

A good core, hopefully the depth will be there too.

Tuukka Rask
Aleksis Ahlqvist

Top notch.

Korkki
01-15-2004, 12:41 PM
Frankly, I don't believe Joensuu will be picked, but there are no decent alternatives for now. An emerging talent will probably take his place.

Why not? Or do you believe the conspiracy theory I expressed a while ago? There won't be two players with Ässät -background in the lineup. If Joensuu goes like he has been going this far he will be in regular lineup in next season's Ässät. Especially if Marjamäki will stay one season more in Canada. There were names that won't be playing in SM-liiga next season, for example Jokila. However he is good, but TPS has better options next season (two Koivus if there's lockout).

Joensuu's injury came to a bad place because Toivola promised more games for him. I hope he recovers well enough. It has been proven correct that he is quite important player for Ässät A-juniors. After his injury the A-juniors have lost two games to teams placed around the same places (under playoff line) as Ässät.

teme
01-16-2004, 12:04 AM
Why not? Or do you believe the conspiracy theory I expressed a while ago? There won't be two players with Ässät -background in the lineup. If Joensuu goes like he has been going this far he will be in regular lineup in next season's Ässät. Especially if Marjamäki will stay one season more in Canada. There were names that won't be playing in SM-liiga next season, for example Jokila. However he is good, but TPS has better options next season (two Koivus if there's lockout).
Sorry to ruin your conspiracy theory, but could it be because he is barely 17 when 2005 WJC starts?

Ströba
01-16-2004, 02:46 AM
Team Finland in WJC:

Juhamatti Aaltonen - Arsi Piispanen - Petteri Nokelainen
Masi Marjamäki - Jesse Saarinen - Lauri Tukonen
Pasi Salonen - Valtteri Tenkanen - Teemu Nurmi
Jouni Virpiö - Aki Seitsonen - Jesse Joensuu
Miikka Tuomainen

Ville Mäntymaa - Risto Korhonen
Otto Honkaheimo - Mikko Kuukka
Erkka Leppänen - Komulainen/Vainio/"new Anssi Salmela"
Teemu Laakso

Finnish 85-born defenders are pathetic. So Korhonen, Leppänen and even 87-born Laakso should be picked. Hopefully someone (85-born d-man) "will come from bushes" and make the team.

Eero Kilpeläinen - Tuukka Rask

Underrated Kilpeläinen is good enough to be starter in WJC. If he can't take the heat Rask will not hesitate to go to kitchen.

Pekka Lampinen
01-16-2004, 07:28 AM
Why not?

Come to think of it, the chances do look like 50-50. Joensuu won't perform better in SM-Liiga than some players each year who don't make the team, but his age could help him, depending on what kind of a stance Dufva takes on that issue. Another question is that whether Joensuu can be as much of a specialist as Tukonen and Nokelainen were.

GKJ
01-16-2004, 09:22 AM
Hey Laituri is back! (and apparently for a while since I haven't been around)


I only saw the game against Canada, and despite being shutout, the Finns played very well, I wouldn't have been shocked if there was a rematch in the final. Masi Marjamaki impressed me the most for skaters.

eh
01-16-2004, 01:42 PM
Is there anyone who could tell us something about Jussi Makkonen of TPS? 85-born, big forward (191 cm), who's currently eighth in scoring in the U20 league. CSB has him ranked at #116. Could he fill a role next year?

I don't think that they picked Matti Uusivirta as a reserve this year just to forget him next year.

Pekka Lampinen
01-17-2004, 04:12 AM
I only saw the game against Canada, and despite being shutout, the Finns played very well, I wouldn't have been shocked if there was a rematch in the final. Masi Marjamaki impressed me the most for skaters.

Do save the pleasantries, old pal. The last two periods of the opening game were by oh-so-far the worst periods by Team Finland in the tournament.

------

From what I've heard, Makkonen is a pretty simple player with a good frame, not at the level of Holma or Petrell. He should hit a ceiling as he enters pro hockey. I wouldn't expect Uusivirta to impress sufficiently next year either.