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11-01-2004, 06:52 AM
Join Date: Apr 2004
I got to see Jarkko Immonen play, for the first time since the Leetch trade, last night.
Immonen is a great prospect to have for any organization. He won´t come in and dominate, he will never be a player who brings people out of their seats with dazzling moves. But he has really good hockey sense. Immonen has a good stride and is a decent skater. He is in tremendous shape at 6´0.5 214lbs, he is built kind of like Rob Brind´amour. Kind of slim but very strong. He lacks some agility and foot speed but has great anticipation and is like a magnet on loose pucks without moving his feet all that much. Offensivly Immonen is a "high end" player, he is smart in the transition game but lacks break away speed and won´t score much on the rush. Immonen isn´t a flashy stickhandler but has really soft hands and can thread passes through traffic and has very good vision. Immonen is a classic playmaker, he postion himself to set up others and he does it really well. He doesn´t hesitate to get into traffic after he has made a opening pass.
JYP isn´t the best hockey team and Immonen takes allot of responsibilitys. His linemates Jakko Uhlbäck and Antti Virtanen are speedy and can put the puck in the net but not much more. Immonen plays a simular role on that line like Holik played when he was paired with Rucinsky and Kovalev. Its gooing to be really interesting to see what Immonen can do with better linemates on a smaller ice surface which will fit him really well. I have a couple of questionmarks when it comes to Immonen, like how well will he handle the transition game in the NHL? How will he be able to handle bigger opponents?
Its hard to project how good Immonen will be once he moves to North America. The way I see it if he handles the transition well and find the right chemistry with the right line mates he could become a 1st/2nd line center but he could also turn out to be a really good checking/3rd line center.
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