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12-25-2012, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by ElHefe View Post
What do you think about our 2015 draft potential? We have at least 3 very talented forwards: Julius Nšttinen, Aleksi Saarela and Mikko Rantanen. Rantanen has already played a few games in FEL and he is a late 96-borner. I've came to a conclusion this group is nearly as potential as 2013.
From the looks of it 2015 could develop into an above average draft for Finland, but it seems to be difficult to predict these. I wonder whether Rantanen playing in SM-liiga tells more about the situation that TPS is in than anything else. Have to check some games from the WU-17 Hockey Challenge, and see how Rantanen and the others perform against the top guys in their age group. This tournament will tell a lot about Kapanen as well, I'm not 100% sold on him yet either. "Watch the 2013 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge live and free on FASTHockey."

As for 2013 draft, Barkov and Ristolainen are very good NHL prospects. Lehkonen is close to that, but as a small, lightweight player he has more to prove. My current feeling is that he's slightly closer to 2nd round than 1st round, have to see how it goes. After these three the 2013 draft is looking bad for Finland, at least from my point of view. My expectations were way too high before the season started.

Ikonen is talented, but in reality he's like ~5'7'' tall, hard to see him developing into a NHL player. Antonen has a bit of offensive talent, but he's soft and thus far hasnít played like a winning player. Salminen has some nice qualities, but skating and puck skills are questionable, NHL upside seems very limited (=4th line). Aaltonen is a nice multipurpose forward, but developing into a NHL player seems like a big uphill battle, size is a big issue for him as well. Number 8, 9 and 10 on Central Scouting's list are Mustonen, Haapala and Kinnunen, none of them are NHL prospects. Saros is likely too small for a modern NHL goalie. Husso just isn't stopping the puck consistently, hard for me to say whether the problem is more with focus, reading the play or just lack of talent. Hopefully he improves for the 2nd half of the season. In addition to the ones mentioned above, there are a few fairly interesting prospects for 2013, but at this point itís hard to say whether they actually have a proper chance of getting drafted.

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