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12-01-2011, 11:07 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2011
Country: Finland
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Originally Posted by Needles View Post
I have a question about Toni Rajala. Where do you guys see his "ceiling"? Is he a future NHL player, KHL player or a very good SM-Liiga player? Before Granlund, he was supposed to be the future of Finnish hockey or something... Then he went to the WHL
Well, I think Rajalas development slowed down already, when he was 16-17 years old, already before he went to play to CHL. I think it was due the high school. But the CHL thing was just making the things worse. When he left for CHL, he was like one year late in expected development, but during the CHL season he lost some speed and creativity.
I have watched his games this season, but he has looked pretty invisible. In one game he scored one goal, but othervise did nothing. He's very fast skater and likes to hit a lot, but laks physical strenght. At the moment he looks like a third liner for Sm-liiga team. Needs to improve his effectivines with the puck(even if he had a two goal game in tuesday, playing with Niinimäki, who is top 3 passer in Sm-liiga).
I think Rajala needs to spend something like three years with Ilves, before it would be profitable to move to North America, but most likely he will spend 12-14 in AHL.
I can see him as an euro star after that, or maybe he makes the NHL.

Edit: Rajala had injuries in the end of 07-08 season and beginning of 08-09, wich of course slowed his development. Last season he had many injuries too and could'nt produce that well due the injuries. I think, he just needs some time to pick up his game. At the moment he looks maybe perimeter type of a player, but i'd say he's a self propelled sniper with that speed and playmaking ability.

Last edited by Ihmeilja: 12-04-2011 at 07:01 PM.
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