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03-21-2005, 08:37 PM
Ziggy Stardust
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Small Defensemen: The Wave of the Future?

It seems as though more and more defensemen listed under 6'0 are starting to emerge and become impact players on their respective clubs.
The most notable that stand out today are Brian Rafalski, Kimmo Timonen, Marek Zidlicky, Lubomir Visnovsky and Dan Boyle. John-Michael Liles had a superb rookie season with the Avalanche, and I think we are starting to see a change, and NHL clubs (and scouts) are starting to take more notice towards the smaller, but very skilled defensemen. What most of these guys have in common is that they are great skaters and have above average puck control.

Hopefully the trend continues for the Kings, and the next small defenseman to come from Finland could be Tuukka Mantyla. He had a very productive season in the Swedish Elite League, matching his career best numbers that he produced in Finland.
Here is Tuukka's profile on Lulea's official site,

I would hope that the Kings could convince him to cross the border and spend some time in the minors to get more accustomed to North America.

Last edited by Ziggy Stardust: 03-21-2005 at 08:47 PM.
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