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11-16-2012, 05:07 PM
  #327
theIceWookie
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ponder View Post
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.
Exactly. The lack of top round talent in Finnish circles isn't indicative of an "idea" that Finnish players aren't successful or elite type players. It's just part of the development cycle. Sometimes countries go through periods where the talent is thinner.

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