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The official Toni Rajala thread

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Old
04-21-2009, 07:32 AM
  #326
Jussi
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Originally Posted by FINNtastic View Post
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: Selänne 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.
I think it showed in Pulkkinen's game that he had been sidelined for over a month, he seemed a little tired and lacking routine in the last two games and when counting in the two ankle injuries from the fall, we didn't get to see the best Teemu Pulkkinen in this tournament yet. In the clips from the 5 Nations tournament in Sweden, he looked better and more willing to challenge defensemen (especially against Russia).

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04-21-2009, 08:41 AM
  #327
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i think Rajala should be defently top 15 in 2009 draft.

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04-21-2009, 08:47 AM
  #328
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I don't see Rajala getting past the Red Wings so I'd wager he's going to be a first rounder for sure.
Funny, that's what I was thinking too. I could see the Red Wings grabbing him if he is still available at their spot.

Someone said earlier that it would be a good thing for Rajala to get picked by an elite team instead of a bottom feeder, I tend to agree with that.

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04-21-2009, 10:43 AM
  #329
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I'd love for Rajala to end up in Detroit (because I'm a Red Wings fan, and also because I think they're the best team to develop him), but I don't think he will last that long in the draft, despite certain predictions that place him in the second round.

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04-21-2009, 11:23 AM
  #330
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I'd love for Rajala to end up in Detroit (because I'm a Red Wings fan, and also because I think they're the best team to develop him), but I don't think he will last that long in the draft, despite certain predictions that place him in the second round.
I would love to hear from an NHL scout as to where they see Rajala on the list after the u18 tournament. He went up to I believe the 11th spot out of European skaters in the latest scouting report.

I wonder if he has gone up that list to maybe top 5?

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04-22-2009, 12:43 AM
  #331
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It will be a WJC vs U18 case. He did not shine in WJC and its now completly different now. Before the tournament, I think he was a 3rd rounder. Now, maybe more a 30 to 45th pick IMO. A lot of skills, but maybe his size will do the difference.

About Detroit, maybe Hakan Andersson will recommand more stuff like Klingberg and Rundblad, and maybe more Robin Lehner in 2nd round (but he doesnt look so well in U18)

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04-22-2009, 10:28 AM
  #332
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Just out of curiosity, I'd like to know what makes Jordan Schroeder a top 10 pick and Toni Rajala barely a top 15 pick?

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04-22-2009, 12:29 PM
  #333
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Originally Posted by Jussi View Post
Just out of curiosity, I'd like to know what makes Jordan Schroeder a top 10 pick and Toni Rajala barely a top 15 pick?
They´re very close IMO. Schroeder is more skilled (yes he is), but Rajala is better skater. Pretty hard to say. Schroeder is from NA, so he has advantage, but it is very close. Also Schroeder is 90-born and Rajala is 91.

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04-22-2009, 12:45 PM
  #334
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It probably has something to do with his 11 points at this year's WJC's and 8 points at the 2008 games. Also I think Schroeder has the advantage of having more exposure.
But would it be possible that Rajala could've scored like Schroeder if Rajala had played in the same line with James Van Riemsdyk and Colin Wilson? Maybe, maybe not.

But it would definitely be interesting to hear how scouts see them as prospects. Their strengths, weaknesses and similarities.

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04-22-2009, 01:58 PM
  #335
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rajala defenatly has first round potential, but i could see him falling to the early second round.

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04-22-2009, 06:04 PM
  #336
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Originally Posted by Jussi View Post
Just out of curiosity, I'd like to know what makes Jordan Schroeder a top 10 pick and Toni Rajala barely a top 15 pick?
I stated the same thing on a u-18 thread on the International Tournaments page. I think it is Finprospects said Schroeder is from NA and Schroeder is also 180 lbs compared to Rajala's 160 soaking wet, and Schroeder is equipped with better training programs than you would get in Finland.

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04-22-2009, 06:14 PM
  #337
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Originally Posted by wings5 View Post
I stated the same thing on a u-18 thread on the International Tournaments page. I think it is Finprospects said Schroeder is from NA and Schroeder is also 180 lbs compared to Rajala's 160 soaking wet, and Schroeder is equipped with better training programs than you would get in Finland.
Can you explain what you mean by better training programs? NCAA teams have better training programs than professional ice hockey teams from Finland?

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04-22-2009, 06:16 PM
  #338
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Originally Posted by Lutzinho View Post
rajala defenatly has first round potential, but i could see him falling to the early second round.
You might be right, and it's really unfortunate. Not that Rajala should care much in the end other than not having the prestige of being a first round pick.

I truly think that teams that pass on him will be kicking themselves a few years down the road when this kid is tearing it up.

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04-22-2009, 08:55 PM
  #339
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wings5 View Post
I stated the same thing on a u-18 thread on the International Tournaments page. I think it is Finprospects said Schroeder is from NA and Schroeder is also 180 lbs compared to Rajala's 160 soaking wet, and Schroeder is equipped with better training programs than you would get in Finland.
Well the weight thing would do it, although Schroeder doesn't have much room to grow weightwise while Rajala has plenty so therefore for shouldn't Rajala have a bigger upside? And the training programs? Missed, wide right.


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04-23-2009, 09:15 AM
  #340
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Originally Posted by wings5 View Post
I stated the same thing on a u-18 thread on the International Tournaments page. I think it is Finprospects said Schroeder is from NA and Schroeder is also 180 lbs compared to Rajala's 160 soaking wet, and Schroeder is equipped with better training programs than you would get in Finland.
Weight is less a factor than height... you can always bulk up, but you really can't get that extra inch.

As for the training part:

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04-23-2009, 12:28 PM
  #341
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Originally Posted by FINNtastic View Post
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: Selänne 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.
Yea well he is not power forward, i didnt mean that, i meant that there are some elements in his game that are similiar. He doesnt play the body that much, but the way he drives to the net if its needed and gets to those open areas to shoot is pretty good.

First well sized pure sniper Finland has ever seen.

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04-23-2009, 03:32 PM
  #342
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Well the weight thing would do it, although Schroeder doesn't have much room to grow weightwise while Rajala has plenty so therefore for shouldn't Rajala have a bigger upside? And the training programs? Missed, wide right.
It seems to be more of a priority in NA than in Europe, they may be equipped with the most advanced equipment but they likely do not train as hard as in NA. When you read most CHL imports interviews and they speak of they difference between here and thier home country they say how serious North American's take their off-ice training. This is why you see as an example the Canadian u-18 teams built and thicker than their opposition.

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04-23-2009, 03:57 PM
  #343
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Originally Posted by wings5 View Post
It seems to be more of a priority in NA than in Europe, they may be equipped with the most advanced equipment but they likely do not train as hard as in NA. When you read most CHL imports interviews and they speak of they difference between here and thier home country they say how serious North American's take their off-ice training. This is why you see as an example the Canadian u-18 teams built and thicker than their opposition.
Rajala plays and trains with his Sm-liiga team, with men.

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04-23-2009, 04:10 PM
  #344
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http://www.tsn.ca/draftcentre/feature/?id=11679

Back in the top 30
By ISS which hated him last year.

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04-23-2009, 04:12 PM
  #345
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Originally Posted by wings5 View Post
It seems to be more of a priority in NA than in Europe, they may be equipped with the most advanced equipment but they likely do not train as hard as in NA. When you read most CHL imports interviews and they speak of they difference between here and thier home country they say how serious North American's take their off-ice training. This is why you see as an example the Canadian u-18 teams built and thicker than their opposition.
And most North american men that come over to SM-liiga and Elitserien from AHL say that the training is harder and has more variation etc. than over there.

Maybe jrs are trained harder than over here, jr series here aren't really comparable to the highest jr ranks in NA, but it's rather irrelevent as Rajala is training with the men.

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04-23-2009, 09:20 PM
  #346
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This is why you see as an example the Canadian u-18 teams built and thicker than their opposition.
That comes more with the fact that Canada has such a huge number of players to pick from and naturally the physically most developed ones are the ones that are chosen for the national teams (and also the junior teams). Although some have speculated that there's no doping control in CHL and these kids take "extra supplements" during off season training... You may also not be aware of the fact that Finnish kids develop physically much slower than North Americans. Like I said in another post, many Finnish coaches, journalists and scouts have noted how in recent years Canadian kids have playoff beards in in WJC tournaments while our kids barely have pubic hair.

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04-23-2009, 10:03 PM
  #347
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That comes more with the fact that Canada has such a huge number of players to pick from and naturally the physically most developed ones are the ones that are chosen for the national teams (and also the junior teams). Although some have speculated that there's no doping control in CHL and these kids take "extra supplements" during off season training... You may also not be aware of the fact that Finnish kids develop physically much slower than North Americans. Like I said in another post, many Finnish coaches, journalists and scouts have noted how in recent years Canadian kids have playoff beards in in WJC tournaments while our kids barely have pubic hair.
Is Rajala expected to get a top 6 role within the Ilves organization next season, and what is the timetable for his arrival in North America?

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04-23-2009, 11:00 PM
  #348
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Is Rajala expected to get a top 6 role within the Ilves organization next season, and what is the timetable for his arrival in North America?
Most likely he'll get atleast 3rd line minutes plus PP but many Ilves fans have already placed him on the first line. As for the timetable, I'd say he needs 2 or 3 seasons to develop physically. And if you're wondering about a team losing his rights after two years, European clubs would very much like to see that extended back to 4 years and it could be changed in the next transfer agreement/CBA.

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04-23-2009, 11:46 PM
  #349
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Most likely he'll get atleast 3rd line minutes plus PP but many Ilves fans have already placed him on the first line. As for the timetable, I'd say he needs 2 or 3 seasons to develop physically. And if you're wondering about a team losing his rights after two years, European clubs would very much like to see that extended back to 4 years and it could be changed in the next transfer agreement/CBA.
I'd say one more season in the Ilves organization, then one year in the AHL, and then the big show.

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04-23-2009, 11:53 PM
  #350
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I'd say one more season in the Ilves organization, then one year in the AHL, and then the big show.
Really? I never exected him to even consider coming so soon. IMO its a bad idea and can ruin his development, juniors would probably be better for him if he wanted to come over, but right now he should stay in Finlands top league for at least a couple of years to properly develop. Finns usually have an easier time adaptng to physical NA hockey than other Europeans because most of them play with the same grit in thier games but he is still way too slight for NA pro hockey.

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