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12-19-2011, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by MBhockey1 View Post
But my question is that who are the top players in the Blues junior-A team? Juuso Ikonen is a player who has a lot of potential despite the fact that he is undersized. But who else are worth a look? At least Eetu Koivistoinen has already great size. In principal I could go to watch Blues' juniors much more often.
I’ve seen Koivistoinen only briefly this season so hard to say much, but he seemed a bit sloppy out there. Many of his passes were slightly off target and overall he wasn’t the most effective/useful player for his team. He has size, some skill and skating ability so in theory he’s a good prospect, but it remains to be seen if he has enough sharpness to put it altogether on a high level. Will be interesting to see what he can do next year, I guess it hasn’t been the easiest year for him with the injury and being sent back and forth between Jr.A and Jr.B.

Niklas Tikkinen is probably the top first time draft eligible prospect from Blues, a tad smallish defenseman who used to play forward. As of now he’s perhaps not the most convincing defenseman defensively, but naturally has some ability to support the offensive game. My guess at the moment would be that he won’t be drafted although it’s not out of the question if some teams might see him as a 6th/7th rounder. Nevertheless it’s worth checking him out.

I haven’t paid much attention to defenseman Ahti Oksanen, but he might be worth a look if you see Blues. He’s an overager who missed a big part of last season due to an injury, but seems to be doing well this season. He’s 2nd in scoring for defensemen in Jr.A and also has the 2nd best +/- stat.

Originally Posted by MBhockey1 View Post
Also there are a couple of other 1995 born forwards who I'd like to see playing more (Aleksi Ainali from HIFK, Artturi Lehkonen from TPS etc.)
Ainali is a sturdy/heavily built guy for his age, but he has heavy feet. He has some trouble keeping up with the pace of the game in Jr.A, this is quite evident during quick turnovers or when he needs to pivot. His character and strength level should make him a fairly interesting prospect next year, but it’s too early to tell whether he’ll be drafted or not. Lehkonen is definitely one of the top Finns for next year, should have 1st/2nd round potential if he grows some height and keeps developing properly.

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