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The official Toni Rajala thread

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Old
01-04-2008, 01:27 PM
  #126
FINNtastic
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Good points.

In my opinion size does matter at least in junior hockey where the differences between players are bigger than in senior hockey. For example strength, I believe North American juniors at this stage (U17) have done more weightlifting than their European counterparts. They have more strength especially in their upper bodies which can be seen in the corners and in front of the net(s). Europeans on the other hand skate a lot in training sessions so they tend to have strong(er) legs.

Bigger and stronger players can dominate at all levels but in junior hockey especially, because of the larger differencies in physical attributes. In NHL there are also differences between players but the caps are smaller. There are of course differences between skill levels also but they tend to stay about the same throughout the years. You can always do weightlifting or other kind of physical exercise and hope to grow a few inches but you can't teach skill. To a certain point you can develop your skills and understanding of the game but you can't turn a georgeslaraque into a sidneycrosby no matter how hard you train.

That being said I believe team Finland were overpowered by their opponents in this tournament. Size and strength were missing while I think no one can deny that Finnish players had skill (something that's quite rare in Finland nowadays!).

Calculations show that there were quite big differences between the average weight of players in this tournament:

Defensemen:
WEST 195lbs / 88,5kg
ONT 186lbs / 84,3kg
USA 179lbs / 81,2kg
FIN 170lbs / 77,1kg

Forwards:
ONT 184lbs / 83,5kg
WES 183lbs / 83kg
USA 183lbs / 83kg
FIN 163lbs / 74kg

Those are just average weighs, but you can see how much smaller the Finnish team was. Some might say it was men against boys. Imagine these two team-leading defensemen in the same rink: Sami Vatanen (5'8" 141lbs / 1.73m 64kg) and Jared Cowen (6'5'' 215lbs / 1.96m 97kg). Both scored 5 points (Vatanen 2+3 and Cowen 0+5). Try and guess which one is highly touted by ISS ?

Overall, if I were a scout I would definitely keep my eyes on Rajala and watch how he develops. If he can score 11 points in 5 games while weighing under 150lbs, I'd like to see what is he able to do when he gains 20-30 lbs. The skill is definitely there.

Any opinions?


Last edited by FINNtastic: 01-04-2008 at 03:18 PM. Reason: vocabulary disability
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Old
01-04-2008, 03:02 PM
  #127
veronesepk
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Originally Posted by EroSennin View Post
Finland finally produces some talent (or at least we have real hype again) and they're not even tall enough to suck my nipples.
I just spit my drink on my computer .

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01-04-2008, 03:11 PM
  #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FINNtastic View Post
Good points.

In my opinion size does matter at least in junior hockey where the differencies between players are bigger than in senior hockey. For example strengh, I believe North American juniors at this stage (U17) have done more weightlifting than their European counterparts. They have more strengh especially in their upper bodies which can be seen in the corners and in front of the net(s). Europeans on the otherhand skate a lot in training sessions so they tend to have strong(er) legs.

Bigger and stronger players can dominate at all levels but in junior hockey especially, because of the larger differencies in physical attributes. In NHL there are also differencies between players but the caps are smaller. There are of course differencies between skill levels also but they tend to stay about the same throughout the years. You can always do weightlifting or other kind of physical exercise and hope to grow a few inches but you can't teach skill. To a certain point you can develope your skills and understanding of the game but you can't turn a georgeslaraque into a sidneycrosby no matter how hard you train.

That being said I believe team Finland were overpowered by their opponents in this tournament. Size and strengh were missing while I think no one can deny that Finnish players had skill (something that's quite rare in Finland nowadays!).

Calculations show that there were quite big differencies between the average weight of players in this tournament:

Defensemen:
WEST 195lbs / 88,5kg
ONT 186lbs / 84,3kg
USA 179lbs / 81,2kg
FIN 170lbs / 77,1kg

Forwards:
ONT 184lbs / 83,5kg
WES 183lbs / 83kg
USA 183lbs / 83kg
FIN 163lbs / 74kg

Those are just average weighs, but you can see how much smaller the finnish team was. Some might say it was men against boys. Imagine these two team-leading defensemen in the same rink: Sami Vatanen (5'8" 141lbs / 1.73m 64kg) and Jared Cowen (6'5'' 215lbs / 1.96m 97kg). Both scored 5 points (Vatanen 2+3 and Cowen 0+5). Try and guess which one is highly touted by ISS ?

Overall, if I were a scout I would definately keep my eyes on Rajala and watch how he developes. If he can score 11 points in 5 games while weighing under 150lbs, I'd like to see what is he able to do when he gains 20-30 lbs. The skill is definately there.

Any opinions?
Yes, you are right, it's scary to imagine how good Rajala will be if he can get much bigger and stronger but although I don't want to take anything from him - it's a concern at this point, especially if we are discussing Top-5-talent for the draft. As much as I like him I don't give him top-5-potential unless he really gets significantly bigger and stronger. If he doesn't then count on a late first-rounder. Even in todays NHL size and strength matters, not as much as before but it still matters.

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01-04-2008, 04:03 PM
  #129
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Lets look at it this way. If Rajala was my height. 6'0 (or 5'11 I don't know) and 185 (muscular built) where would we look at him going?

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01-04-2008, 05:08 PM
  #130
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Originally Posted by Finnerican View Post
Lets look at it this way. If Rajala was my height. 6'0 (or 5'11 I don't know) and 185 (muscular built) where would we look at him going?
He then would be top 5 overall on my list at this point with the experience and knowledge that there is ways to go until his draft-day and a lot can change.

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01-04-2008, 07:25 PM
  #131
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Originally Posted by Finnerican View Post
Lets look at it this way. If Rajala was my height. 6'0 (or 5'11 I don't know) and 185 (muscular built) where would we look at him going?
If Rajala was that big right now and played the exact same way he does now he would be getting lots more hype than he is right now. He would be a more physical player if he was that big. But Rajala isnt that big but Id imagine that he can grow 1 more inch and reach 5'10, and somebody needs to tell this kid to get to the gym and start working on him strength and put on some more weight.

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01-04-2008, 11:27 PM
  #132
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Finns are naturally scronny. I had to really try hard to get 180 on my frame. I was 5'10 125 my sophomore year of highschool

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01-05-2008, 11:57 AM
  #133
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Originally Posted by Joretus View Post
Since it will be last tournament before U-18 world Champs I think Rajala will be playing with U-18 again. He has played whole year with them except this tournament.
I really hope Pulkkinen also gets a look in that tournament.

About the players size, like I posted in the other thread, I don't have high hopes of Rajala growing much height as he hasn't grown much in the past two seasons and I can't remember many Finnish prospect who grew in their later teens. Weight/muscle is easier to pick up, I can understand that he maybe hasn't focused much on weight training yet since he only weighs 69 kilos (according to some sources). To succeed in the NHL level, height isnt an obstacle (Kane, both Kapanens) but e.g. both Kapanens weigh over 80 kilos so that really should be focused on. Pulkkinen on the other hand seems to growing still, he's grown two cm from last season, so he might top 180 cm yet.

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01-05-2008, 12:05 PM
  #134
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Finns are naturally scronny. I had to really try hard to get 180 on my frame. I was 5'10 125 my sophomore year of highschool
First time I hear that. Really, Finns are probably amongst the heaviest nations in the World.

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01-05-2008, 12:06 PM
  #135
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Originally Posted by Jussi View Post
I really hope Pulkkinen also gets a look in that tournament.

About the players size, like I posted in the other thread, I don't have high hopes of Rajala growing much height as he hasn't grown much in the past two seasons and I can't remember many Finnish prospect who grew in their later teens. Weight/muscle is easier to pick up, I can understand that he maybe hasn't focused much on weight training yet since he only weighs 69 kilos (according to some sources). To succeed in the NHL level, height isnt an obstacle (Kane, both Kapanens) but e.g. both Kapanens weigh over 80 kilos so that really should be focused on. Pulkkinen on the other hand seems to growing still, he's grown two cm from last season, so he might top 180 cm yet.
And ppl shouldn't do weight training too much when growing. We have couple of nice examples in SM-liiga/mestis for guys who have been training too much with weights. It can dramatically affect growing. As mentioned as well in the other thread, you can do weight training later, but you have to get basic skills&tools when being young.

And I hope Pulkkinen will get shot as well, at least they could test him. Maybe even with Rajala.

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01-05-2008, 04:30 PM
  #136
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Originally Posted by Joretus View Post
And ppl shouldn't do weight training too much when growing. We have couple of nice examples in SM-liiga/mestis for guys who have been training too much with weights. It can dramatically affect growing. As mentioned as well in the other thread, you can do weight training later, but you have to get basic skills&tools when being young.

And I hope Pulkkinen will get shot as well, at least they could test him. Maybe even with Rajala.
Are there trades in SM-Liiga?

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01-05-2008, 07:18 PM
  #137
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Are there trades in SM-Liiga?
Yes, but not involving young players, unless their personal situation requires it (like the family moving to another town, as was the case with CBJ's draft pick Arsi Piispanen).

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01-05-2008, 09:37 PM
  #138
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First time I hear that. Really, Finns are probably amongst the heaviest nations in the World.
Really I guess it depends on your local... I've noticed alot of Southern Finns are bigger. I'm from Western Finland very close to Sweden and I really didn't see too many bigger people. We're tall though. My dad is 6'7" and my uncles are in the 6'7-6'8 range. I'm 6' or 5'11 because mi madre is 5'2. I really don't know anymore. I'm Ameriacanised so it may just be perspecive.

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01-06-2008, 06:42 AM
  #139
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In South- and West-Finland people tend to be taller and skinnier than in North- and East-Finland. There is defianately something in drinking water or maybe it is just money to eat better or could it just be our genetics. I'm 170 cm tall and eventhough I have allways been one of shortest I have been the shorthest ( in army there was amazingly 6 shorter guys and we were 40 something). So that's why most of the Kärpät prospects tend to be quite small, but of course there is the Freaks of Nature...

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01-06-2008, 07:13 AM
  #140
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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.
wow...amazing...NOT

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01-06-2008, 10:17 AM
  #141
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Originally Posted by scud9 View Post
In South- and West-Finland people tend to be taller and skinnier than in North- and East-Finland. There is defianately something in drinking water or maybe it is just money to eat better or could it just be our genetics. I'm 170 cm tall and eventhough I have allways been one of shortest I have been the shorthest ( in army there was amazingly 6 shorter guys and we were 40 something). So that's why most of the Kärpät prospects tend to be quite small, but of course there is the Freaks of Nature...
that's because the people in North- and East-Finland feed on hard work in the woods,

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01-06-2008, 06:56 PM
  #142
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wow...amazing...NOT
It seems you have no knowledge of hockey Whatsoever. How old are you four?

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01-07-2008, 07:31 AM
  #143
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Really I guess it depends on your local... I've noticed alot of Southern Finns are bigger. I'm from Western Finland very close to Sweden and I really didn't see too many bigger people. We're tall though. My dad is 6'7" and my uncles are in the 6'7-6'8 range. I'm 6' or 5'11 because mi madre is 5'2. I really don't know anymore. I'm Ameriacanised so it may just be perspecive.
Yeah, it depends on a lot of things. I have no problem putting on weight these days (I used to, when I was younger and still played football and hockey... really, I could eat anything and was still underweight). I've put on like 60 pounds in the last 3 years and went from 91 kilos (200lbs) to 118 kilos (260lbs). And I'm really still not that fat. But, that doesn't really say anything about the Finns necessarily, since I'm only half Finnish.

But I know a few friends that are still like how I used to be. Not putting on any weight at all, despite the beer drinking and all the eating. One of my friends is actually struggling to put on weight at the moment. We're all kind of tall (not as tall as Finnerican's relatives though). I think the shortest of my friends is around 6'0" (I'm between 6'5" and 6'6"). Most of us, my Finnish half included, have our roots in the eastern regions of Finland.

Don't know how this has anything to do with Rajala, though, so that's as far as I'm going with that.

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01-07-2008, 07:53 AM
  #144
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It seems you have no knowledge of hockey Whatsoever. How old are you four?
judging me hockey knowledge by the fact that I dont like one guy?

and im 4 years old cuz i dont like the guy?

.....je....mature thinking from you.

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01-07-2008, 08:13 AM
  #145
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judging me hockey knowledge by the fact that I dont like one guy?

and im 4 years old cuz i dont like the guy?

.....je....mature thinking from you.
I think your spelling/writing indicates you're quite far from mature...


Last edited by Jussi: 01-07-2008 at 12:43 PM.
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01-07-2008, 08:21 AM
  #146
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yeah...thats probably it.

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01-07-2008, 10:16 AM
  #147
Granlund2Pulkkinen*
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close to my block list...

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01-07-2008, 12:44 PM
  #148
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close to my block list...
Do it...You can do it!

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01-07-2008, 01:43 PM
  #149
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...now Im sad....:'(

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01-07-2008, 02:13 PM
  #150
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judging me hockey knowledge by the fact that I dont like one guy?
Yeah, and I bet you have seen plenty of Rajala's playing? Since you can bash him so much with such a great knowledge you are sharing us in here. I really enjoy your analyzes which are long, deep and perfect english.

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