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The official Toni Rajala thread

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Old
08-12-2007, 03:23 PM
  #76
Jussi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnerican View Post
Name: Rajala, Toni
Position: Left Wing
Height: 5'10"
Weight: 160 Lbs
Current Team: Ilves Tampere Junior-A team
Pros:[LIST][*]Great Speed- Ability to control any game. The tournament game I saw he scored the first goal in :53 seconds on a Defensive Zone to Offensive Zone break away where he mutilated defenders
So he also has a violent streak?

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08-12-2007, 05:10 PM
  #77
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Originally Posted by hsthashersfan View Post
"Skill set" not "Skill setting"
xkooz mi pore inglish. Tha prezens uv stoopid pepl mak me dum to. Simple mistake. Let it slide
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Originally Posted by Jussi View Post
So he also has a violent streak?
Apparently he just got in a fight against HIFK... haven't heard anything else on it.

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09-30-2007, 01:04 PM
  #78
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The official Toni Rajala thread

Since he's the most exciting prospect in a while... can we keep tabs on him?

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10-01-2007, 12:37 PM
  #79
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This far the stats are:
A-juniors league 2 0+0 -1
B-juniors qualifying group 5 5+9=14
He should play in a-juniors imo permantenly, and the coach should give him an offensive role+powerplay time. Dont really know whats going around there, because he's too good to the b-juniors.
Last year his stats in b-juniors were 33 games 47 points, so he has already proved his skills in that level.

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10-01-2007, 05:19 PM
  #80
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That's great... Why is he going back and forth? Doesn't that mess with chemistry?

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10-01-2007, 05:21 PM
  #81
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I think this is typical "finnish mentality", which is in juniors "results first, style&getting better in the long run second".

Generally that means even 10y are teached to dump&chase, not use their all possible skillsets. Sooooo now Rajala will be playing in B-juniors where he can't really learn more imho...

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10-02-2007, 02:44 AM
  #82
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Yeah, the Finnish junior system has some major flaws in my opinion. Of course, club teams here have a lot of interest in developing their own juniors and keeping them, but I think we should come up with a new system. Maybe imitate the US national team development program:

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The NTDP consists of two national teams, the U.S. National Under-18 Team and the U.S. National Under-17 team, based in Ann Arbor, Mich., where the program's goal is to prepare student-athletes under the age of 18 for participation on U.S. National Teams and for future hockey careers. Efforts focus on high-caliber play and on developing well-rounded individuals off the ice. The success of the NTDP is not gauged on wins and losses, but on acquiring skills and experience.

The two teams combine to play more than 110 games each season vs. collegiate, U.S. junior and international competition.

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Old
10-08-2007, 01:49 PM
  #83
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Originally Posted by EroSennin View Post
Yeah, the Finnish junior system has some major flaws in my opinion. Of course, club teams here have a lot of interest in developing their own juniors and keeping them, but I think we should come up with a new system. Maybe imitate the US national team development program:
Why imitate a system that develops only marginally more players out of a way huger talent pool?

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10-09-2007, 01:22 AM
  #84
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Originally Posted by mattihp View Post
Why imitate a system that develops only marginally more players out of a way huger talent pool?
But more quality players. Top level talent. By taking the best from each age group and playing them against better opposition (with less random level of coaching than in junior C or B or even A) than they get to play in their respective junior teams would, in my opinion, create more "star players" out of Finland. And at least should develop a really good chemistry between those guys for the WJCs etc.

I might be wrong, though, as I don't really have the numbers, but I think I remember reading about how the program affected the amount of first round draft picks from the US in a very positive way.

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Old
11-26-2007, 09:32 AM
  #85
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Some information about Rajala: A-juniors league 15 8+7 +4
These things I have heard about them who have seen him playing. Rajala doesn't play very aggressive in A-juniors, but when he has played against his aged he has tackled actively. Rajala rise and fall too much in the A-juniors. 1vs.1 he can dare bigger, more physical and older players. He finds much better room and surprising solutions than other players. He has excellent game vision. The shot is good and pretty straightforward, but it can be better. He moves great forward, sideways, turns quickly and use his stick well to get the puck. He do well in the corners using movelines and his puck control. The biggest problems are on the defence area, being in the right place there, to do the right choices, opening the game. He also needs more experience and strength. Ilves teach him to play on the defence area, using he to killing the penalties. He plays also some powerplay, but ilves has at least three lines for powerplay. On the offence area he is just great. He has huge potential so only the sky is the limit.

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11-28-2007, 09:52 PM
  #86
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I've heard alot of good things about Rajala, but being here in Calgary I can't really follow his progress very well. Any chance he could come to the CHL to get acclimated to the North American game before his 09' draft year?

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11-30-2007, 04:19 PM
  #87
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Originally Posted by Damien View Post
I've heard alot of good things about Rajala, but being here in Calgary I can't really follow his progress very well. Any chance he could come to the CHL to get acclimated to the North American game before his 09' draft year?
If he wants to have any fans in Finland I doubt he'll do that.

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11-30-2007, 05:43 PM
  #88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Damien View Post
I've heard alot of good things about Rajala, but being here in Calgary I can't really follow his progress very well. Any chance he could come to the CHL to get acclimated to the North American game before his 09' draft year?
With the way he's going right now he wouldn't really have any use of it. Much better to have him gradually learning playing against men in his homecountry.

It's not as Finland has international size rinks anyway, the adaption from finnish rinks is easier than from IE swedish rinks.

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01-03-2008, 11:12 PM
  #89
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Toni Rajala finishes U-17s with 11 Pts

Statistics wise I have been really really impressed with Rajala. He racked up 6 Goals, and 5 Assists for a total of 11 PTS in 5 Games at the Under-17s in London, Ontario.
Rajala seems to be the real deal and people I have talked to that were at the U-17s this week said that he is a hell of a talent and is a threat every time he is one the ice. I havent had the chance to seem him but for anyone who has could you tell me his strengths and weaknesses? TSN has him listed as 5'9 148 lbs? At that size he must be one incredibely smooth player.

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01-03-2008, 11:20 PM
  #90
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Originally Posted by Canuck71 View Post
Statistics wise I have been really really impressed with Rajala. He racked up 6 Goals, and 5 Assists for a total of 11 PTS in 5 Games at the Under-17s in London, Ontario.
Rajala seems to be the real deal and people I have talked to that were at the U-17s this week said that he is a hell of a talent and is a threat every time he is one the ice. I havent had the chance to seem him but for anyone who has could you tell me his strengths and weaknesses? TSN has him listed as 5'9 148 lbs? At that size he must be one incredibely smooth player.
Rajala was very impressive and clearly solidified his status as a top-notch 2009 prospect by proving his ability to succeed against top international compeition despite his lack of size, but Spartak Moscow forward Kirill Kabanov (6-1, 172) also finished with 11 points and is 16 months younger than Rajala. In fact, he was the second-youngest player in the tournament (7/16/92 b-day) and racked up two goals, nine assists and 28 PIMs in five games. Much more hyped Russian forward Maxim Kitsyn had only four points in Russia's five games, and Kabanov is likely to shoot up the 2010 draft boards after this impressive performance.

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01-03-2008, 11:23 PM
  #91
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its a loooooong way to go before the 2010 draft, but 11 pts in 5 games by a 15 year old is extremely impressive. especially considering he is playing against guys a year older then him... one year is a lot at that age....

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01-03-2008, 11:35 PM
  #92
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Just for comparison, here is how the other '92-born players fared in the tourney (oldest to youngest among the '92s):

Teemu Pulkkinen, Finland -- 1/2/92 -- five goals, three assists in five games
Tom Kuhnhackl, Germany -- 1/21/92 -- four goals, one assist in five games
Bernhard Keil, Germany -- 1/21/92 -- one goal, one assist in five games
Brandon Gormley, Atlantic -- 2/18/92 -- one goal, five assists in five games
Mikael Granlund, Finland -- 2/26/92 -- one goal, one assist in five games
Ben Duffy, Atlantic -- 3/3/92 -- no goals, no assists in five games
Joonas Donskoi, Finland -- 4/13/92 -- one goal, no assists in five games
Morgan Ellis, Atlantic -- 4/30/92 -- no goals, no assists in five games
Kirill Kabanov, Russia -- 7/16/92 -- two goals, nine assists in five games
Sean Couturier, Atlantic -- 12/7/92 -- no goals, one assist in five games

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01-03-2008, 11:36 PM
  #93
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I hope he grows, I thought he was bigger than that. If he's that size by draft day he won't be first round, even with that kind of talent. There's no way he'll be able to play in the NHL against 6'4-6'9 defenders and not start suffering Finnish-esque injury problems (cough Tuomo Ruutu, Saku Koivu, Teemu Selanne, Joni Pitkanen cough). If he's 5'11" 160-180 by draft day I still STILL think he's top 10 talent. But I didn't see this tournament so I don't know if I'm speaking out of line or not.

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01-03-2008, 11:40 PM
  #94
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnerican View Post
I hope he grows, I thought he was bigger than that. If he's that size by draft day he won't be first round, even with that kind of talent. There's no way he'll be able to play in the NHL against 6'4-6'9 defenders and not start suffering Finnish-esque injury problems (cough Tuomo Ruutu, Saku Koivu, Teemu Selanne, Joni Pitkanen cough). If he's 5'11" 160-180 by draft day I still STILL think he's top 10 talent. But I didn't see this tournament so I don't know if I'm speaking out of line or not.
5'10 160 lbs Patrick Kane went first overall, and I am almost positive that Rajala would grow to at least 5'10 160-170 by draft day in the next few years

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01-03-2008, 11:41 PM
  #95
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Geez, the kid is 15. He'll be at least 6'0 by Draft Day.

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01-03-2008, 11:42 PM
  #96
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Geez, the kid is 15. He'll be at least 6'0 by Draft Day.
He'll be 17 in February......

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01-03-2008, 11:44 PM
  #97
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Originally Posted by Finnerican View Post
I hope he grows, I thought he was bigger than that. If he's that size by draft day he won't be first round, even with that kind of talent. There's no way he'll be able to play in the NHL against 6'4-6'9 defenders and not start suffering Finnish-esque injury problems (cough Tuomo Ruutu, Saku Koivu, Teemu Selanne, Joni Pitkanen cough). If he's 5'11" 160-180 by draft day I still STILL think he's top 10 talent. But I didn't see this tournament so I don't know if I'm speaking out of line or not.
Keep in mind, Finn, that Patrick Kane isn't much bigger than that now, and was probably smaller than that at age 15/16 when he started making a name for himself at U.S. Select Festivals and with the U-17 U.S. NTDP. Rajala played against some pretty big dudes in this tourney and obviously did OK. I know he had done well in some smaller Four Nations and Five Nations events in Europe before, but I think this tournament was his real coming-out party on an internatinal level and will propel him in the eyes of scouts.

(Canuck beat me to it and posted while I had stepped away in the midst of composing my post :-) )

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01-03-2008, 11:53 PM
  #98
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My biggest concerns are

1. SM-Liiga Senior league
Toni Rajala has been playing great in the SM-Liiga B and A junior leagues, but his Swedish counterparts for the 2009 draft are already in their senior leagues in SEL. Now SM-Liiga is alot different than SEL, specifically with the fact that SM-Liiga tends to attract alot of international players for some reason, so roster space may be limited. I don't know if that's an excuse right now but I hope it's not hurting him developement-wise. (ISS and some other """scouting servise""" (I am not a big fan of ISS) has him in the latter part of the first round, could be because of this).

2. Size
Has been covered. Patrick Kane is an example but I still don't know.

3. Exposure
He's really only getting recognization now so I don't know how that will affect him. I really don't know much about that kind of stuff, but Tavares and Hedman have been getting most of the attention... with a little Paajarvi-Svensson thrown in. Rajala really should have started getting hyped when he was a 14 year old playing against 16 year olds in SM-Liiga Jr C (think about how big 16 year olds seemed when you were 14). He's European so how can he compete with players playing in NDTP and CHL?

3. Too much talent in 2009, why would he get picked before someone 2-3" taller with close to the same skills?
Preferably Kuchin, Paajarvi and Haula. All 5'11" - 6'4". How could he compete?


Again I probably don't know alot of what I'm talking about but I'm still kinda weary. He's very talented and extremely smart. Can that help him draft day? Even if he is still 5'9?

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01-03-2008, 11:56 PM
  #99
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Rajala was very impressive and clearly solidified his status as a top-notch 2009 prospect by proving his ability to succeed against top international compeition despite his lack of size, but Spartak Moscow forward Kirill Kabanov (6-1, 172) also finished with 11 points and is 16 months younger than Rajala. In fact, he was the second-youngest player in the tournament (7/16/92 b-day) and racked up two goals, nine assists and 28 PIMs in five games. Much more hyped Russian forward Maxim Kitsyn had only four points in Russia's five games, and Kabanov is likely to shoot up the 2010 draft boards after this impressive performance.
I'd say being 6-1/172 instead of 5-9/148 is more important than being a year younger. Team Russia was also a lot more skilled on the whole than team Finland, as always.

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01-03-2008, 11:57 PM
  #100
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I'd say being 6-1/172 instead of 5-9/148 is more important than being a year younger. Team Russia was also a lot more skilled on the whole than team Finland, as always.
I'm really going to go out on a limb and say Finland had more talent. Goaltending and defense were problems. Offensive talent didn't appear to be a problem.

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