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06-27-2012, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by RKC View Post
Under-sized overage forward with average skating = no NHL future.
Toni Kallela’s NHL upside might be a bit questionable just like with Miro Aaltonen and Robert Leino, but I wouldn’t call him an average skater. He was one of the top skaters in Jr.A this season, his speed coming down the wing and ability to change direction quickly made him unstoppable at times.

Originally Posted by RKC View Post
I think Vatanen's and Granlund's next season will be a bigger factor in next years draft for Finns than most people realize.
Vatanen and Granlund could easily have difficulties next season, it’s their first year in North America and both have deficiencies that aren’t that easy to overcome. Vatanen is small for a defenseman and Granlund isn’t that fast for a small forward. First and foremost players are evaluated as individuals, and Barkov and Ristolainen have attributes that haven’t been seen in Finnish prospects in 10 years. Scouts will understand this when they see these guys play. Barkov will be compared against Mikko Koivu, not Mikael Granlund, and Ristolainen will be compared more against Joni Pitkänen than Sami Vatanen. SM-liiga hasn’t produced much NHL players lately, but I believe that that has a bit more to do with the lack of young talent than the ability to develop players in our top league.

Among others, guys like Lauri Tukonen and Petteri Nokelainen didn’t pan out, but I wouldn’t make big conclusions from a sample size of 5 to 10 players. It’s a numbers game and the fact is that we have lacked depth in our prospect pool. We need to have more volume and luckily things are looking a bit better in that aspect.

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