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01-23-2012, 08:35 AM
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Country: Finland
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Team Finland @ 2013 World Junior Championships

I think it's time to get the speculation going here as well. We were so close reaching the gold medal game this year but it wasn't to be. We will lose two awesome players in Granlund & Pulkkinen but fortunately there's some good talent in the pipeline. Especially our defense is likely to be stronger next year.

There's not going to be any drama in our goalie department this year. Richard Ullberg and Samu Perhonen are very likely our playing goalies, Ullberg being the starter.

In defense only significant loss is Jani Hakanpää. Ristolainen and Pokka will be even better next year and hopefully Olli Määttä is healthy. Joonas Valkonen was the last defenseman cut this year, so he has a good chance. Then it gets tricky. Henri Auvinen, Mikko Lehtonen & Mikko Vainonen have already played in SM-Liiga. Esa Lindell has been on fire in A-juniors (6th in scoring!). Patrik Parkkonen has played well in WHL...

Our offense should be at least pretty decent next year, although we lost Mikke, Pulu and Ruuttu. Donskoi wasn't that good this year so I wouldn't consider him as a huge loss. Armia, Salomäki, Ma Granlund, Aaltonen, Hännikäinen and Barkov will return and form a nice core. Teuvo Teräväinen's absence caused controversy this year but he will be in the team in 2013. At the moment, Toni Kallela is the leading scrored in A-juniors , Kalle Kossila's having a good year and both Ikonens (Juuso & Henri) have already played in SM-Liiga. In grinding department, Sami Salminen and Teemu Henritius could be good options. And I'm iterested to see what Artturi Lehkonen & Kalle Torniainen can do in the next 10-11 months.

And then there's the coaching issue. Like I've said before, I don't want to see Raipe behind the bench. The result this year was acceptable but the lack of system wasn't.

My prediction:

Miikka Salomäki - Markus Granlund - Joel Armia
Juuso Ikonen - Aleksander Barkov - Teuvo Teräväinen
Henri Ikonen - Miro Aaltonen - Toni Kallela
Sami Salminen - Tomi Wilenius - Markus Hännikäinen
Artturi Lehkonen

Olli Määttä - Ville Pokka
Joonas Valkonen - Rasmus Ristolainen
Henri Auvinen - Mikko Vainonen
Esa Lindell

Richard Ullberg
Samu Perhonen
Ville Husso

Coach: Jarno Pikkarainen

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