Top Defensemen in the 2013 Draft
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01-01-2013, 04:50 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
Originally Posted by
If anybody has seen much of Ristolainen, any armchair expert scouting reports are most appreciated. Does he compare to OEL at all in style?
I've seen "Rasse" a lot because he plays in my favourite team and I couldn't agree more to the comments that he's capable of being second best defender in this draft.
But he's not totally Ekman-Larsson -style. Yes, Ristolainen is a good skater for a player of his size and he plays with a lot confidence. First passes are always great from Ristolainen's stick and he doesn't make errors with the puck. But I think that Ristolainen's potential to score points is not as high as OEL has. He's good with the puck and very capable to play power play, but I just see OEL better with play making. Ristolainen plays pretty simple game in offensive side of the rink and he's got a good trust to his shot which is hard. Doesn't give stupid passes, but in the other way he's not a defender who makes easy goals for his teammates.
I think that OEL is more offensive defender than Ristolainen, who's got more potential in the defensive side than OEL. "Rasse" is very physical defender in his own end and he likes to tackle opponents when time comes. In front of his own net he is propably nastier than any other Finnish defender in NHL. If you drive to Ristolainen's team's net, "Rasse" will be there and clean it if you're too close to goalie.
Ristolainen had nice summer and he got a lot more weight and muscle to his body. I think that he weights now 16 pounds (7 kg) more than last year at this time. And I can see that this year he has been stronger and he's one of the most physical defenders in TPS's defense, in men's elite league.
Maybe the biggest problem in his playing is positioning in the defensive zone . But he's got better in that if we compare him to the same guy last season. So the biggest lacks are pretty much things where he can improve when he gains more and more experience.
I think that in future Rasse will be a good 2-way defender in NHL, who's very usable and versatile in power play and penalty kill. At the same time he's a calm and physical defender. If I had to compare him to some NHL-player, I would pick Brent Seabrook. He will be somenthing like Seabrook of his size, he's got a hard slap shot and he's good at the both sides of the rink. Doesn't panic under pressure and gives good and easy passes to his teammates.
Hope that helped you.
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