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08-08-2011, 01:57 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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Great start for the season for our U18 team by winning the USA 6-3 in Ivan Hlinka Memorial. 95 age group really looks talented. Last year they took wins over Sweden 95 which is considered a good age group for swedes (if I have understod correctly )... Will be very interesting to see WJC in couple of years when we have very strong D-men (Määttä, Pokka, Ristolainen etc) in 94 age group and offensive talent in 95 (Barkov, Lehkonen, Tanus)... Also a good goalie prospect in 95 age group, Ville Husso. Normally Finland has always some weaknesses like this year we have very good offensive but our defense looks terrible.

But some notes about today's game or prospects... I'm not expert like tormentor but I thought that it is time to register here and take part in discussion...

Sasha Barkov
looked very calm with the puck and his development curve is IMO going up. Sashas weaknesses has been his skating but judging by todays game it looked like he is maybe little bit faster than he was before. His skating technique isn't IMO bad but he lacks explosiveness which can be still developed.

Juuso Ikonen looked also very promising. He is very good skater with great acceleration, he sees the ice well and has good hands. Good performance today by him but I have to say that I was a bit dissapointed that it looked like he hasn't grew an inch. He is very fast and good skater which is always considered the "cornerstone" for guys who are that small but what concerns me is that he doesen't seems to "dominate" the game in corners like for example Granlund and S. Koivu. I mean that he is very dangerous when he gets the puck in neutral zone because his acceleration (he is in full speed like right away) but when the rink gets smaller it is easier for d-men to "push" him to the corners. That been said he really looked like the most talented player in the Finnish team and my opinions about him are based on few viewings so maybe it isn't wise to judge him...

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