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11-16-2012, 04:26 PM
  #325
ponder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaps View Post
I agree with Baggie. I think Barkov will be drafted in the top10 (and even that is a huge accomplishment for a Finn these days), but he may drop lower than many people here seem to expect. I'm not even considering the option that he might go 1st overall, because the chances are very slim. If we could get an actual NHL season and Granlund managed to get a Calder nomination, it could help Barkov in a huge way. I don't think most teams feel comfortable drafting Finns very early at the moment because of the busts we've had lately. Minnesota took a risk with Granlund, and I'm not surprised at all that it was them who ended up taking it. Right now it looks like that risk may end up paying off, and if it does, it will open doors for other Finns in the future.

Our player development has improved lately, but it'll take a few successful young Finns in the NHL before they start trusting us again. If you compare our situation to the Swedes', there's a huge difference right now; there are plenty of young Swedish players in the NHL who have done well, and because of that it's easier for more of them to get drafted early on. E.g. I believe that Barkov has to be significantly better than Lindholm to get drafted before him. If there isn't much of a difference between them in the eyes of the scouts, the Swede will most likely be taken first, because many teams see them as less risky prospects than Finns at the moment. This is a generalization, though, as the draft order can have a huge impact in a situation like that.
Not sure I agree with that. In 2001 and 2002 we saw lots of Finns go high in the draft (Mikko Koivu and Tuomo Ruutu 6th and 9th overall in 2001; Kari Lehtonen and Joni Pitkanen 2nd and 4th overall in 2002). There haven't been many Finns drafted high since then, but they haven't produced many good prospects since then either. In 2004 we saw Korpikoski, Nokelainen and Tukonen all go in the 11-19 range, and all busted except Korpikoski, but I wouldn't say that this draft turned GMs off Finnish prospects, there just haven't been a lot of strong Finnish prospects since. I mean, GMs are not going to take a weak prospect in the 1st round just to make sure that Finland produces a 1st round pick. Now that Finland has started producing solid prospects again, GMs have started to draft them reasonably high once more (Granlund 9th overall in 2010, Armia 16th overall in 2011, Teravainen and Maata 18th and 22nd overall in 2012, and soon to be Barkov, Ristolainen and Lehkonen in 2013).

I haven't seen Finnish prospects regularly go way lower than you'd expect based on their talent, as is so common with Russian prospects. In the years where Finns have not gone high in the draft, they've generally just not had any good prospects. When they do produce good prospects, they go about as high as they should. If Barkov is talented enough to go in the 2nd-6th overall range (and I think he is), then he'll go somewhere around 2nd-6th. I agree that his shot at 1st overall is quite slim, but only because MacKinnon is such a strong prospect, it'll be tough for anyone to unseat him.

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