Finland U-18 season 2012-13
Team for Ivan Hlinka: http://www.leijonat.fi/index.php?opt...=51&Itemid=127
not bad result in that tournament. Did anyone watch the games?
What do you think about our prospects, who stood out?
Kiviranta and Kapanen looked pretty good for underagers. Aleksi Ainali was a guy who I haven't seen play before but he was good. Nice offensive skills and a bit of physicality as well. On the D, Honka was very good offensively. Nice to see we've got some talented big guys coming up also.
If every player was available I would put our line-ups like this:
Tanus - Barkov - Kapanen
Lehkonen - Mustonen - Ikonen
Puhakka - Ainali - Antonen
Kiviranta - Koivistoinen - Westermarck
Pulli - Mäkinen
Lintuniemi - Honka
Levo - Kuronen
Damn those forwards.. :nod:
Yeah, how great it would be if we could once or twice see the best Finn -95:ers playing together this season. There would be a exceptional mix of "traditional" skating and puckhandling skills together with heavier energy offense and shooting power...perhaps in WJC-18...?
U-18 Team Finland for Ann Arbor (USA), November 6-10
(Four Nations tournament USA,FIN,SWE,SUI)
1 Kaapo Kähkönen, Blues
31 Juuse Saros, HPK
2 Jimi Kuronen, Lukko
3 Alex Lintuniemi, Jokerit
5 Julius Honka, JYP
7 Atte Mäkinen, Tappara
8 Mika Ilvonen, Blues
22 Joonas Lyytinen, KalPa
27 Erik Autio, Blues
10 Aleksi Mustonen, Jokerit
11 Kasperi Ojantakanen, Jokerit
13 Joose Antonen, JYP
15 Oskari Siiki, TPS
18 Aleksi Ainali, HIFK
19 Janne Puhakka, Blues
20 Eetu Koivistoinen, Blues
23 Saku Kinnunen, KalPa
24 Felix Westermarck, Blues
24 Kasperi Kapanen, KalPa
25 Timi Lahtinen, Jokerit
28 Niko Ojamäki, Ässät
29 Joel Kiviranta, Jokerit
Our defense looks small. Just look at the height of these players (taken from Eliteprospects)
2 Jimi Kuronen, Lukko 179/82
3 Alex Lintuniemi, Jokerit 187/85
5 Julius Honka, JYP 178/74
7 Atte Mäkinen, Tappara 191/93
8 Mika Ilvonen, Blues 172/69
22 Joonas Lyytinen, KalPa 180/70
27 Erik Autio, Blues 176/77
That is just way too small defense in my opinion.
Save for one or two exceptions, they don't really lack the necessary height to be effective, but some bodily mass. But that should easily be amended in the coming couple of years.
Of course, if we are to view them as the best of the crop and figure whether they'll be NHL hopefuls one day, I'd say some in that list will be fighting an uphill battle due to their size. But it's not like we get 100% turnouts ever. If even two or three of them ever get a decent shot, it's a quite good result.
We can go through U18 tournaments with a bunch of smaller defensemen, it’s been done before, but by the time of the U20’s that formula usually doesn’t work anymore. Next year the U20 team will be full of 94-born D’s (Määttä?, Ristolainen?, Pokka, Lindell, Tikkinen, Vainio, Lehtonen, Vainonen…), so there’s still some time to find bigger (and better?) D’s from the 95-born age group.
Where is Mikke Levo, why is he not on the roster?
And what about Matias Pulli, I assume he's injured as he hasn't played any games this season.
Mäkelä was okay when I checked Ilves-Ässät junior game but I kinda understand why he wasn't selected. He just wasn't that good.
By the way, Vuorisalo has been a pleasant surprise for me. He has the speed and he has pretty good hands also. In my opinion he has been the best defender in Ässät after Parkkonen but just like the other 95's, he is bit smallish.
Here's my 2 cents into conversation about size and weight between four teams currently in USA.
It shows the well known fact of Finland being behind USA and SWE in average measures, but also being well ahead of SUI.
Calculations are made from team roster data, that is published in tournament web site (U-18 Four Nations, Ann Arbor MI, USA).
GKE 182,00 cm / 81,50 kilos
DEF 181,29 cm / 80,57 kilos
FWD 181,23 cm / 79,69 kilos
ALL 181,32 cm / 80,14 kilos
GKE 180,50 cm / 69,00 kilos
DEF 180,67 cm / 80,17 kilos
FWD 178,23 cm / 76,23 kilos
ALL 179,14 cm / 76,67 kilos
GKE 183,00 cm / 82,00 kilos
DEF 185,71 cm / 87,71 kilos
FWD 181,85 cm / 81,77 kilos
ALL 183,18 cm / 83,68 kilos
GKE 188,33 cm / 84,67 kilos
DEF 183,38 cm / 86,63 kilos
FWD 180,92 cm / 85,31 kilos
ALL 182,67 cm / 85,67 kilos
I'm still saying that this size issue is a bit blown out of proportions. Sure, when the squad comprises of a class from one single year, they don't seem to have that much of an advantage. But why stare only at that single class, since in full-grown men there is no age limitations whatsoever?
So yeah, the 95s might be bit on the smallish side - but who cares, as long as we produce a squad or another's worth of sizable talent over several years. In the current situation, even the 94s alone are more than enough to make up the difference.
Okay, if every single one of this squad was undersized, then there might be a reason to worry because 'leap years' are never good news. But it's not like this is the case either.
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