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01-31-2013, 02:54 PM
  #32
Tormentor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveHateLeafs View Post
Tormentor, what are your thoughts on Sebastian Aho? I was watching the B-junior game between Tappara and Karpat that was posted on Youtube, mainly to get a good first look at Puljujarvi, Laine and Rasanen, but it seemed like Aho's talent was always grabbing my attention. I thought he was by far the best player in that game. Given the fact that he's a 97, it's not terribly surprising that he seemed so polished when compared to the 98's, but even compared to the 95's and 96's that made up most of the rosters, he seemed incredibly mature. Other than not being particularly big, he didn't seem to have any real weaknesses and he's already played a few A-junior games. How would you compare him to Nattinen and Saarela at this point?
I agree with your observations about Aho. Smallish and not very physical, but smart, skilled and smooth, an instinctive scoring winger. An interesting footnote is that he’s a son of Harri Aho, a former pro and current Sport Director of Kärpät. It seems to be a trend at the moment that many of the top prospects come from hockey families:

95: Barkov, Lehkonen and Ikonen
96: Kapanen, Sopanen and Tuulola
97: Saarela, Nättinen and Aho

Saarela plays mostly as a centre forward whereas Aho is a wing, so they approach the game a bit differently. Saarela is sturdier/heavier and his ability to read the play and anticipate might be even higher than Aho’s. On the other hand Aho might have a slight advantage in mobility; stops and starts & changing direction in full speed.

Nättinen is a lot taller than Saarela or Aho, so comparing their games might not tell the whole story at this point. He’s a skilled player in his own right and capable of running the PP in Jr.B. I hope he starts using his frame and reach more effectively, and gets more jump into his game.

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