Finnish Top Prospects ( In Future)
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08-10-2011, 03:58 PM
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Too Far
Originally Posted by
Did anyone notice how Jimi Kuronen looked out there? There's been no talk about the guy but he's obviously good if he's playing as an underager
In Jr.B playoffs Jimi Kuronen faltered a bit under pressure, higher level of intensity and strong forechecking by the opponent was too much for him at the time. He didnít have the wheels to get out of trouble when in possession of the puck and his physical game wasnít at a required level for puck battles, especially along the boards. If I remember correctly he was benched in one of the games. His teammate from last season Alex Lintuniemi whoís also a 95í looked better, although his game wasnít error free either.
Kuronenís decision making with the puck is pretty good when he has enough time and space. His opening passes are usually good and heís a decent blueliner on the power play. Yesterday Slovakia scored both of their goals when Kuronen was on the ice and in addition he was outstripped few times by fast advancing opponents. In defensive situations his anticipation could be better, but heís still inexperienced at this level, so things might improve in the future. Overall he could be more active on the ice both defensively and offensively, at least when playing against older players that is.
Heís a smallish defenseman without elite wheels or elite puck skills and he doesnít have a very physical approach to the game. Personally I donít see him as much of a NHL prospect at the moment, but itís early so I could naturally still change my mind if he develops a lot. ÖAnd this doesnít mean that someone else couldnít think differently about him.
Originally Posted by
I'd like to know more about these lesser known 2013 eligible players like Joose Antonen, Aleksi Mustonen and Saku Salminen. Are they good skaters and what kind of players they are. Obviously the draft is almost 2 years away but are they good enough to be drafted?
Joose Antonen is still a bit of a mystery to me. Iíve only seen him play against older competition and he wasnít overly visible in those games. Seems like a promising player, but I want to see him more before going into details.
Aleksi Mustonen is a good and agile skater. Seems like determined player with a fairly good head for the game. Clearly not as skilled as for example Juuso Ikonen, but I donít think heís that far from Jonatan Tanus whoís another undersized forward. Whether he gets drafted or not depends on his growth and overall development, thatís the name of the game with all these undersized forwards.
Saku Salminen doesnít seem to be as skilled as his older brother and I wouldnít call him an elite skater. Iíve seen him a few times now and Iím left with a feeling that his input to the game should be slightly higher before Iíd see him as a good NHL prospect; heís definitely not dominating the game. Letís see how the change of scenery from HIFK to Jokerit affects his game, maybe thereís more to be heard from him.
Originally Posted by
Btw how high are you on Barkov? I saw him playing few times last season and I must say that it looks like he has developed a lot since then
and he was considered as a 1st-2nd round prospect even last season.
Barring a serious injury or something totally unexpected itís hard to see Barkov not being a 1st rounder in 2013. ISS had Barkov 15th and Ristolainen 17th on their draft guide this summer. Iíd think that after this tournament the difference between these two guys should be slightly clearer for Barkovís advantage. Development in Barkovís physique and skating power over the summer have made him stand out a lot more, and show that heís serious about developing his game. Definitely a future pro.
ISS top-3 for 2013 was: 1. Curtis Lazar, 2. Nathan MacKinnon and 3. Seth Jones. Iíve seen Jones play several times now from different web streams and the one that I watched from Fasthockey.com two days ago (the U20 game between Finland and USA White) made me revere him even more than before. He has also developed a lot during the summer. A smooth skating behemoth with great puck skills and the ability to command the offensive blue line. I like him more than Victor Hedman for example. As good of a prospect as Barkov is, Jones is on an even higher level.
Iíve seen MacKinnon play once (a game between Finland and Team Atlantic at the WU-17 Hockey Challenge, also from Fasthockey.com), heís a totally different kind of player in comparison to Barkov. His success is based on fast, straight forward power game which is accompanied with a high skill level. As of now MacKinnon should probably be seen as a better prospect than Barkov, but letís see how he adapts to the QMJHL and how he has developed during the summer. Itís not like Barkov couldnít eventually become a better player than MacKinnon. I havenít seen Lazar play yet.
BTW, did anyone notice this name on the U17 national team list; Teemu Kivihalme - Burnsville Blaze Varsity. Based on a quick Google search he was one of the top freshmen in Minnesota HS hockey, interesting.
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