Here’s how I compared the brothers in another thread two months ago:
Originally Posted by Tormentor
Mikael’s mobility and overall strength level are on a lot higher level compared to Markus. They enable him to skate faster, shoot harder and battle for the puck a lot more effectively. Compared to Mikael at the same age, Markus is clearly behind in physical development. Remains to be seen how much Markus will catch up in these areas.
Mikael is responsible defensively and can also be relied on in critical situations. You can’t say the same about Markus, at least not yet. To me it seems that Markus doesn’t give 100% to his team in some situations. For example he could back check much more enthusiastically and overall show more willingness defensively.
Mikael has been one of the leaders in every team that he has played so far, so he definitely has some leadership qualities. Compared to his brother, Markus seems to be more of an individualist and plays for himself. It’s obvious that Mikael’s work ethic and general attitude towards hockey have been on a professional level for years, but I’m not sure how Markus feels and thinks about hockey yet.
Both have great playmaking skills and create a lot of scoring chances for their line mates. Both are able of doing great things with the puck, but Mikael plays the game on a lot faster level and it clearly distinguishes the brothers from each other at the moment.
Although Markus is scoring a lot of points in Jr.A (his PPG average is higher than for example Pulkkinen’s last year), I don’t think that he’ll be ready for SM-liiga hockey next season, because his physique and overall game still require so much improvement.
As far as potential goes, it’s hard to tell. It’s obvious that he has the skill and the hockey sense, but other areas of his game require a lot of improvement. Based on that I would say that he has a high potential, maybe even NHL level, but the chances of him achieving his full potential are not as good as in Mikael’s case.
Naturally I would love to hear how Markus has played during the playoffs, if someone has seen him play. Has he developed in some areas of the game?
Markus might have a bit of a nasty edge in his game compared to Mikael, but otherwise I think Mikael is a tougher player. He’s stronger, competes harder, isn’t afraid of getting hit, goes to the net and so on…
Originally Posted by Korkki
and better defensively as his big brother
I admit that Mikael had some dark moments defensively during the WJC’s, but that had more to do with the fact that some of the opposing players were bigger, stronger, faster and perhaps more accustomed with the North American style of play. Also the whole team was playing badly and it was the first time that he played as a centre forward at this level of competition, because he has been a winger in SM-liiga.
Compared to Markus, Mikael’s better conditioning and skating enable him to play better defence and he’s also a lot more responsible defensively. He back checks with great work ethic, his gap control is excellent and he reads the game well in the defensive zone. Mikael is an elite defensive player when compared to Markus.
Originally Posted by Korkki
But lacks the skills and vision (mulla on oikosulku tähän aikaan, mutta tarkoitan pelisilmää) Mikael has.
I have to disagree with you again. Maybe his decision making isn’t quite on Mikael’s level yet, but otherwise Markus has a similar skill set, and a great hockey sense and vision. The only clear difference is that Mikael’s great physique compared to Markus enable him play the game on a lot faster level and more efficiently. It’s a lot easier for Mikael to find openings, get past opponents and keep the puck… Simply put, Markus is forced into making a lot more compromises on the ice and therefore his game might not look quite as flashy.
He's doing ok. He's sixth in scoring in Jr-A with 15 games played, 8 goals and 11 assists.
He just scored a really nice goal against SaiPa: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z0mUbGiLEY (kinda bad quality)
Though, the game was 7-0 for HIFK anyway
Can someone who has seen Markus play tell how he's doing at the moment? I've only seen stats of him, and statswise, I expected more out of him this year. According to TSR he's playing better and better, and was featured as a "riser" on december's top30. I'd still love a report by someone who's seen him play a game and get into some specifics
According to TSR he's playing better and better, and was featured as a "riser" on december's top30.
It was ISS that had him as a riser on their December 'Risers and Fallers' section:
"...The captain of the Finnish U18 team, Granlund has been one of the best players in Finland's top U20 junior league this season, averaging over a point per game. He has made in SM-Liiga debut with HIFK Helsinki and played with the Finnish U20 team on loan from HIFK in their series against teams from Finland's second highest men's league, the Mestis. In those games, Granlund has been exceptional, putting up 3 goals and 3 assists in 6 games. Granlund has an outside shot of cracking the U20 team that will represent Finland in Buffalo at the World Junior Championships later this month."
Personally I think that write-ups like this are weak, just a bunch of facts that anyone could dig up. They don't offer any good reasoning to why he should be considered a better NHL prospect than before. Would be nice to know if they have actually seen some clear development in his game in comparison to other prospects, which would merit this 'rising' in the rankings.
From what I've seen, he has become a bit stronger and his game has matured, but that was expected. Overall he's still the same prospect as before. Some might even say that his value has dropped, because he still isn't showing the grit or ultimate desire that's required from a player of his size to make it to the NHL. A smart and skilled player yes, but that alone just isn't enough if you want to make it to the top.
Rajala, Donskoi and Pulkkinen were 4th rounders, so is it wrong to think that Markus could end up lasting all the way to 6th or 7th round? Heck, who knows if he gets drafted at all, the value of Finnish prospects isn't very high at the moment.