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NHL Draft - Prospects Discuss hockey prospects from all over the world and the NHL Draft.

LW Toni Rajala - Luleň HF, SHL (2009, 101st, EDM; UFA)

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Old
04-19-2009, 06:53 PM
  #426
FINNtastic
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Originally Posted by Marc the Habs Fan View Post
9 goals for Rajala at the U-18.

Does this send him back up the draft rankings a bit? From the bits I saw of today's game he looked really good.
And his 18 points ties him with Ovechkin for the tournament record.

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04-19-2009, 06:56 PM
  #427
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He was all over the ice tonight.

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04-19-2009, 06:57 PM
  #428
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And his 18 points ties him with Ovechkin for the tournament record.
19 points. He holds the record alone. GWG was credited to him.

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04-19-2009, 07:05 PM
  #429
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19 points. He holds the record alone. GWG was credited to him.
Well that's surprising.

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Old
04-19-2009, 07:21 PM
  #430
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I am pretty sure he will be picked late 1st/early 2nd and at worst mid 2nd . I would really want the Leafs to take a chance on Toni Rajala if he is available in the 2nd round .

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04-19-2009, 07:29 PM
  #431
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Well that's surprising.
but it was a shootout goal so how is it 19?

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Old
04-19-2009, 08:16 PM
  #432
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nevermind

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Old
04-19-2009, 08:26 PM
  #433
Marc the Habs Fan
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After re-watching the game in its entirety, it will be a crime if this guy doesn't go in round 1. Amazing hands, terrific speed, great shot and plenty of dekes. He also wasn't scared to go to the net.

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04-19-2009, 09:42 PM
  #434
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I believe Rajala is the real deal...very impressive in this tournament...it's a shame the CSS Final rankings come out prior to this tournament

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04-19-2009, 11:11 PM
  #435
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Finland has one hell of a prospect in their hands. That was an exciting performance Rajala put on tonight with Granlund. They could be two of the most skilled kids that aren't drafted yet.

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Old
04-20-2009, 12:02 AM
  #436
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Can someone tell me why this guy isn't considered a potential top 10 pick?

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04-20-2009, 12:20 AM
  #437
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Can someone tell me why this guy isn't considered a potential top 10 pick?
size....which is pretty stupid....

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Old
04-20-2009, 01:26 AM
  #438
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size....which is pretty stupid....
Really that's all you think it is? Not anything to do with him not performing at the under 20's where he played against the other top rated players his age? He had a great U18's no question, but the CHL playoffs are still in session and many teams were missing many good players.

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Old
04-20-2009, 02:29 AM
  #439
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Originally Posted by Nielson81 View Post
I believe Rajala is the real deal...very impressive in this tournament...it's a shame the CSS Final rankings come out prior to this tournament
It's probably not too bad for him. It could be the difference for him to make the NHL. Instead of a bad team that needs help right away, maybe he is picked late in the first by a team that will allow him to develop and then slot him into a scoring role later on.

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Old
04-20-2009, 02:55 AM
  #440
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Really that's all you think it is? Not anything to do with him not performing at the under 20's where he played against the other top rated players his age? He had a great U18's no question, but the CHL playoffs are still in session and many teams were missing many good players.
He was a double underager, he wasn't playing against players his own age. Only 13 of the 220 players in the tournament were 1991 born.

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Old
04-20-2009, 03:02 AM
  #441
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This size thing is really very stupid.

For instance Sami Kapanen is listed as 5.10 in all stats. When in a interview he said that he is in reality 5.8. Also in the same interview he said that in North amerika they deliberately add some inches and pounds to hes stats so he would look like bigger. Why so i dont know, but i could think that majority of the "smallish" players get the same treatment. So i could think that even Canadian prospects arent that big as the stats suggest..

Rajala is listed 176cm (5.8 - 5.9) so hes as big as Kapanen or even slightly bigger. So if Kapanen could play in NHL so should Rajala. and i talk about size not skill.

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04-20-2009, 06:19 AM
  #442
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Finally we get some offensive talent, we tend to only get goaltenders :d

I guess, if he's really good, size shouldn't be much of a problem (Martin St.Louis, anyone?)

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04-20-2009, 06:40 AM
  #443
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Rajala┤s new point record is even more impressive when taken into account that he made 19 points in only 6 games. Ovechkin made his past record in 8 games.

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04-20-2009, 08:13 AM
  #444
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snaibberi View Post
This size thing is really very stupid.

For instance Sami Kapanen is listed as 5.10 in all stats. When in a interview he said that he is in reality 5.8. Also in the same interview he said that in North amerika they deliberately add some inches and pounds to hes stats so he would look like bigger. Why so i dont know, but i could think that majority of the "smallish" players get the same treatment. So i could think that even Canadian prospects arent that big as the stats suggest..

Rajala is listed 176cm (5.8 - 5.9) so hes as big as Kapanen or even slightly bigger. So if Kapanen could play in NHL so should Rajala. and i talk about size not skill.
Minor correction, Kapanen said he's probaly 175cm, which is infact 5'9.

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04-20-2009, 09:13 AM
  #445
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Rajala is skilled and fast, but the scouts are worried about how he can develop physically, when he goes to ahl there are going to be much bigger guys out there. He needs to get more muscle to manage, right now he is as thin as paper. Im guessing early in the 2nd round or late 1st.

Anyways, i believe Pulkkinen will be better than Rajala, he is my favourite finn prospect right now. Last time we had player like this, was... umm... never. Finland has never had true star that has cannon of a shot, wants to shoot before passing and is kinda powerforward like player. Maybe as close as i can come up with is Olli Jokinen, but still abit different.

Thank god the Finns future is looking brighter than in a long long time, we will get much needed offensive firepower with Pulkkinen, Rajala and Granlund.

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Old
04-20-2009, 11:13 AM
  #446
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snaibberi View Post
This size thing is really very stupid.

For instance Sami Kapanen is listed as 5.10 in all stats. When in a interview he said that he is in reality 5.8. Also in the same interview he said that in North amerika they deliberately add some inches and pounds to hes stats so he would look like bigger. Why so i dont know, but i could think that majority of the "smallish" players get the same treatment. So i could think that even Canadian prospects arent that big as the stats suggest..

Rajala is listed 176cm (5.8 - 5.9) so hes as big as Kapanen or even slightly bigger. So if Kapanen could play in NHL so should Rajala. and i talk about size not skill.
It's not all that stupid in my opinion. It's a reality, when the ice surface gets smaller the more contact there is. And to survive and succeed in a high contact game you either need size and strength or guts and strength. Smaller guys like
Kapanen, Koivu etc. have crazy amounts of guts and determination...and strength. That's how they make up their lack of size. Then there's always guys like this year's KHL's two leading scorers Sergei Mozyakin 5'10'' 163lbs (CBJ-pick) and Jan Marek 5'10'' 178lbs who have the skill but not necessarily the guts and will.

When speaking of drafting 17-18 year old players teams tend pick the bigger player if two players are equally talented. So in Rajala's case his lack of size has put him in a situation where he needs to be a bit better than the bigger players in front of him. Scoring the same amount of goals just won't do because his size remains a concern. For instance Svensson-Pńńjńrvi will probably be a 2-way third line winger in the worst case cause he has the physical attributes. But in all seriousness if Rajala makes the NHL he makes it as a scoring winger in the first two lines. He would be useless in a checking/defensive role. Rajala's height is not the problem, his biggest problem is that he's still a boy, he hasn't matured yet. 5'9'' is enough in my opinion, after all it's not the NBA, when he matures and adds 15-20 lbs of muscle he'll be even better.

So if still comparing to MSP, Rajala will either be a high scoring forward in the NHL or in Europe. MSP will almost certainly make a long career in the NHL, as it now seems, in a scoring role. But if both of them would reach their maximum potential I'd say Rajala would be the one to score more points. But the probability to succeed in the NHL is lower that MSP's because of his size. Rajala hasn't fully shown his character although he drove to the net more often than let's say in the WJC's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4rde View Post
Rajala is skilled and fast, but the scouts are worried about how he can develop physically, when he goes to ahl there are going to be much bigger guys out there. He needs to get more muscle to manage, right now he is as thin as paper. Im guessing early in the 2nd round or late 1st.

Anyways, i believe Pulkkinen will be better than Rajala, he is my favourite finn prospect right now. Last time we had player like this, was... umm... never. Finland has never had true star that has cannon of a shot, wants to shoot before passing and is kinda powerforward like player. Maybe as close as i can come up with is Olli Jokinen, but still abit different.
.
I'm really hoping that Rajala stays in Finland for long enough that he becomes one of the stars in our own league and for team Finland. I'm not so certain that AHL is the best league for player development. I think that for example Lauri Tukonen, Petteri Nokelainen and Lauri Korpikoski would have benefited more offensively if they had stayed in Finland.

Off topic, as for Pulkkinen I was a bit disappointed with his shooting accuracy in this tournament (U18) but he still is an intriguing prospect. If I would send some player to the CHL it would be Pulkkinen 'cause he already plays a straight forward NA type of game so he would probably succeed. I wouldn't label him as a power forward-type 'cause in my eyes a power forward's game in based around his hits..like Milan Lucic etc. (or at least that's how I see it)

Pulkkinen on the other hand is more of a sniper with some eagerness to play the body. There hasn't really been a Finnish player like him so it's difficult to compare him. Here's a few tries: Selńnne with less speed but better stickhandling, Tuomo Ruutu with more flash and better hands but less physical, More physical Valtteri Filppula with a better shot.


Last edited by FINNtastic: 04-20-2009 at 11:49 AM.
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Old
04-20-2009, 11:39 AM
  #447
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Rajala in his 10 last international games (U-18).

4.2.2009 FIN 4 - CZE 1 (3+0)
6.2.2009 FIN 5 - RUS 2 (0+4)
7.2.2009 USA 3 - FIN 2 (0+1)
8.2.2009 SWE 2 - FIN 3 (0+1)
9.4.2009 FIN 7 - RUS 4 (2+2)
11.4.2009 USA 4 - FIN 3 (0+1)
13.4.2009 FIN 10 - NOR 1 (3+4)
14.4.2009 SVK 0 - FIN 7 (2+2)
17.4.2009 FIN 0 - RUS 4 (0+0)
19.4.2009 CAN 4 - FIN 5 (3+0)

13goals + 15assists = 28points!

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04-20-2009, 03:32 PM
  #448
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Caught this kid in Fargo yesterday. By far the most impressive player I saw on the ice in the Championship round on Sunday. He can do some sick junk with the puck. Wow.

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Old
04-20-2009, 03:43 PM
  #449
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The next Saku ?

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Old
04-20-2009, 04:10 PM
  #450
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The next Saku ?
For his sake I hope he can be more than a 55 point player who can't speak french

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