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C Aleksi Saarela - Ässät, FEL (2015 Draft)

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Old
04-24-2011, 12:05 PM
  #1
Tormentor
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C Aleksi Saarela - Ässät, FEL (2015 Draft)

Eliteprospects profile

He's a 97-born centre forward and in club competition he played against 96-born players. In 28 games he scored 103 points, 51 goals and 52 assists. He was the MVP and top scorer in his age group at the annual Pohjola camp, which gathers the top Finnish players.

He played at the World Selects Invitational's in Prague this week with a Finnish team and was the top scorer of the tournament. In 9 games he scored 26 points, 13 goals and 13 assists.

Some of the plays from that tournament:


He's not the most dynamic or exciting player, but he's smart, has pretty nice puck skills and has an exceptional wrister for his age. He's also a good two-way player. If things work out, he might become a similar youth star as Toni Rajala, Teemu Pulkkinen and Mikael Granlund were few years ago. At least he’s worth keeping an eye on.

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04-24-2011, 12:48 PM
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FinHockey
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My god some of those junior leagues are just horrible. 103 points in 28 games? Lol.

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Old
04-24-2011, 12:49 PM
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He's rather small, but still looks bright.

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Old
04-24-2011, 01:02 PM
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The Saw Is the Law
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Last one was shot between the legs?

Those 103 points were in D-juniors? Hopefully continues same pace rest of his career

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Old
04-24-2011, 01:16 PM
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FinProspects
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Saarela looks good, how does he compare to Julius Nättinen (97born player, who scored point per game in C-juniors last season). I´d expect that both guys receive some time in B next season.

All in all, its good to hear that there are promising players coming out from Finland.

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04-24-2011, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grabovski View Post
He's rather small, but still looks bright.
He's 97 born ---> has room to grow 20+ cm.

But geez, some nice plays in that vid!

Thank you again Tormentor.

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04-24-2011, 02:25 PM
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I have heard a lot of good things about him. I don´t really see such a young guys like him playing, but if he´s going to play in B juniors next season, I´m maybe going to watch him playing. Sounds like a very interesting prospect.

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04-24-2011, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grabovski View Post
He's rather small, but still looks bright.
Saarela is taller than Mikael Granlund and Toni Rajala were at that age, so it wouldn't be a surprise if he ends up being something like 5'11''.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Saw Is the Law View Post
Last one was shot between the legs?
Yep.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Saw Is the Law View Post
Those 103 points were in D-juniors?
He's a D1 aged player, but played against C2 aged players with his club team. In addition he played two games in Jr.C SM-sarja with C1 aged players.

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Originally Posted by FinProspects View Post
Saarela looks good, how does he compare to Julius Nättinen (97born player, who scored point per game in C-juniors last season).
At the moment Saarela's skills are more polished and he's simply more effective in the offensive zone. Nättinen is a lot bigger (probably pushing 6'2'' already) and has better tools for physical game.

Aaro Löyttymäki is another 97-born big promising Finn who played at that Selects tournament. He played on the same line with Saarela and scored the first 7 goals on that video, his number is 12, white helmet and a rightie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinProspects View Post
I´d expect that both guys receive some time in B next season.
Jr.C SM-sarja will probably be the level where they play next season. Rajala, Pulkkinen and Granlund scored over 3 points per game as underagers in Jr.C, Saarela might get close to that if he stays healthy and has a good season.

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04-24-2011, 02:42 PM
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My god some of those junior leagues are just horrible. 103 points in 28 games? Lol.
Here in Canada, 98-born forward Jaeger White scored 124 goals in 30 games.

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Old
04-24-2011, 04:52 PM
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He's the son of former Sm-liiga top goal scorer Pasi Saarela and from my home town Laitila.

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Old
04-24-2011, 05:16 PM
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He's the son of former Sm-liiga top goal scorer Pasi Saarela and from my home town Laitila.



You are almost a celebrity.

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07-20-2011, 08:16 AM
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Bumpety bump!



Here you can see both 97's mentioned in this thread, Aleksi Saarela (number 8#) and Aaro Löyttymäki (number 9#)play in Pohjola camp Final's 3rd period. (West coast v. 'keskimaa')


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Old
11-08-2011, 04:42 PM
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This season?

I can se on eliteprospects that he have 8 games played and have 28 points! but it have ben like that for couple of weeks now.. any uppdates anyone? about how hes playing and where hes at? soon to play for the jr. B?

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Old
11-08-2011, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by fr9dd9 View Post
I can se on eliteprospects that he have 8 games played and have 28 points! but it have ben like that for couple of weeks now.. any uppdates anyone? about how hes playing and where hes at? soon to play for the jr. B?
He will most likely play with the Jr. C team (he's an underager for that awell) but he could also easily play in jr. B since Lukko's Jr. B team is currently playing in division-1, which isn't a much better level of play. It probably depends on what his coaches think is best for his development.
Right now his Jr.C (Qualifiers included) stats are 10. 14+18=32

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11-09-2011, 03:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grabovski View Post
He's rather small, but still looks bright.
Quote:
Originally Posted by LatexiKledjut View Post
He's 97 born ---> has room to grow 20+ cm.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
Saarela is taller than Mikael Granlund and Toni Rajala were at that age, so it wouldn't be a surprise if he ends up being something like 5'11''.
I don't think his size will become an issue. His father wasn't very tall (5'10", 179cm), but he was build like a brick wall, hence the nickname "Laitila Oat Giant". I would assume his kid would be the same when he grows up.

BTW those stats from this season are from the C-junior championship qualification rounds, where even the top teams have to play against all the scrubs from the area, so the numbers are really inflated. Back when I played, we got beaten by Lukko about 20-2 in those games as well. Let's see how he performs when the real season starts, whether it's junior C or B.

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11-09-2011, 03:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YARR123 View Post
He will most likely play with the Jr. C team (he's an underager for that awell) but he could also easily play in jr. B since Lukko's Jr. B team is currently playing in division-1, which isn't a much better level of play. It probably depends on what his coaches think is best for his development.
Right now his Jr.C (Qualifiers included) stats are 10. 14+18=32
Underager on paper, but being -97 january 7th born, those older C junior guys are only a week from being his own age group. I don't think this level would be sufficient competition for him, but then again he is really young, so who's to say which is right or wrong at this point. I would assume the junior B (94 born) 1st division would be more competition for him, but I'm not really sure, because back when I played, there wasn't separate Junior B1 and B2, so back then the Junior B division 1 was pretty good. Maybe now it's different when the talented younger B juniors play in B2 SM, instead of B1 div-1. Also being currently coached by his daddy is almost never a good thing, although the Koivu brothers turned out "ok".


EDIT: Alex Barkov jr. played in C-SM at the same age, and came up to SM-liiga in two years, so maybe that's good for Saarela as well.

So weird seeing the kids of these players coming in to the league, who I grew up watching. Hell, I remember Pasi Saarela just being a young talent.


Last edited by Jack DiBiase: 11-09-2011 at 04:18 AM.
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Old
11-09-2011, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Jack DiBiase View Post
Also being currently coached by his daddy is almost never a good thing, although the Koivu brothers turned out "ok".
While I don't have inside knowledge on the exact coaching skills of "Pahi", I can almost guarantee he hasn't done much of the federation's coaching courses, though at C-junior level they might not be that important. He's not a full time coach because he works as a warehouse keeper at Laitilan Wirvoitusjuomatehdas (apparently a very stressful job). But one would think Aleksi could pick up some pointers on weight training from his dad.

Edit: for what it's worth, here's an interview with Pasi about his coaching job: http://www.ur.fi/lankintakaa/j%C3%A4...e_3323940.html


Last edited by Jussi: 11-09-2011 at 12:09 PM.
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Old
11-09-2011, 12:01 PM
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Beautiful stuff...

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Old
11-18-2011, 08:59 AM
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4 games in the Jr. C, with 5+5 points. Anyone has seen him playing recently?

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Old
11-18-2011, 11:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
Saarela is taller than Mikael Granlund and Toni Rajala were at that age, so it wouldn't be a surprise if he ends up being something like 5'11''.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack DiBiase View Post
I don't think his size will become an issue. His father wasn't very tall (5'10", 179cm), but he was build like a brick wall, hence the nickname "Laitila Oat Giant". I would assume his kid would be the same when he grows up.
I think it would be a surprise if ends up 5'11. More realistic would be 6'1. Guys who are 6'1-6'3, have been 175cm(5'9) at that age.

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11-19-2011, 01:08 AM
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I think it would be a surprise if ends up 5'11. More realistic would be 6'1. Guys who are 6'1-6'3, have been 175cm(5'9) at that age.
Not everyone keeps growing at that rate, some are tall for age but slow down and peak at young age while their peers catch up and/or surpass them. Others are small at young ages but hit a spurt or keep on growing at constant rate till late teens. Apparently Malkin was same size as he is now at 13-14 while Semin was 5'11 at 18 and is now 6'2.

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Old
11-19-2011, 12:41 PM
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Others are small at young ages but hit a spurt or keep on growing at constant rate till late teens. Apparently Malkin was same size as he is now at 13-14 while Semin was 5'11 at 18 and is now 6'2.
There are few guys, who've been 6'0 at 14 and end up being just 6'3, like Malkin, but normally tallest boys of that age are at Saarelas height and end up 6'1-6'2. At least in Finland.

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Old
11-24-2011, 12:52 AM
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Saarela 6 games 15 pts. He's listed as 5'10 165 lbs for a 14 year old kid last year he was 5'9 and 146 lbs. Very smart player with solid two-way game, elite shot. Bright future for sure at this point.

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11-24-2011, 05:26 AM
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Saarela 6 games 15 pts. He's listed as 5'10 165 lbs for a 14 year old kid last year he was 5'9 and 146 lbs. Very smart player with solid two-way game, elite shot. Bright future for sure at this point.
Looks like he is toying with the competition, and making it too easy for him. A couple of games at Junior-A SM wouldn't hurt.

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11-24-2011, 07:40 AM
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Looks like he is toying with the competition, and making it too easy for him. A couple of games at Junior-A SM wouldn't hurt.
He is for the 2015 draft and is quite young. No need to rush him, but i agree that he's too good for Jr. C and even Jr. B but Jr. A is too much for him at this point. He could play Jr. A hockey at 2012-2013. Last year he was good enough for Jr. C but they didn't want to rush him.

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