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Finnish Top Prospects part II

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Old
12-25-2013, 05:54 PM
  #51
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Originally Posted by LoveHateLeafs View Post
He seems to have appeared out of nowhere (he wasn't on Finland's Ivan Hlinka roster, but has outperformed everyone on it in Jr A play). I'd very much like to hear a scouting report on him (Strengths/weaknesses etc).
Hintz’s reach and powerful skating make it relatively easy for him to find open space on the ice when playing in Jr.A. These two attributes will be more closely matched at the next level, that’s when he’s going to be truly measured.

Hintz was close to making the Hlinka roster after the summer camp, but ended up being only an injury reserve. He was with the U18 national team in November, but played wing instead of his more usual position which is centre. I guess you could say he hasn’t found his role in international circles yet.

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Originally Posted by JJTT View Post
Any info on Eetu Sopanen(2014 draft)?

Is he even NHL-prospect at this point?
Without the injury history he would be a certain draft pick I think, but now I’m not quite 100% sure. A lot depends on the rest of the season and how many games he gets in.

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Originally Posted by MiGician View Post
Who are the best players of the bunch? Do they have NHL potential? I know they are young but it would be nice to know
My top-5 for 2016 would be something like this at the moment:

1. W - Patrik Laine (Tappara)
2. W - Jesse Puljujärvi (Kärpät)
3. D - Olli Juolevi (Jokerit)
4. D - Markus Niemeläinen (Tappara)
5. C - Otto Mäkinen (Tappara)

Patrik Laine is a player you need to go see if you haven’t seen him yet. He’s almost like an Ovechkin impersonator out there on the ice, IMO the most entertaining prospect in Finland at the moment.

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Originally Posted by glassbangers View Post
Tormentor or anybody else?

What kind of player Topi Piipponen (1997, 6'0) is? He is playing in U18 league as an 16-yrs old and he's 3rd in the league scoring with 20+22=42 points in 27 games. Seems like he is doing almost everything by himself as his best teammate has 27 points in 26 games.
Pretty good size, skill and skating, has some physical presence as well. Not in my top-10 Finns for 2015 at the moment, but with good development could end up be there next season.

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Originally Posted by MiGician View Post
Didn't see the games (my own military service) but Reunanen seems to be a very good prospect (5 points in 3 games).
All-around a pretty good defenseman, but size is a bit of a concern at this point. He’s maybe 5’10’’ tall or a tad more, and while he’s a competent skater he doesn’t have Vatanen-esque wheels.

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Originally Posted by LoveHateLeafs View Post
With an average height of 183cm, this u16 team is probably taller than some u20 teams that Finland has iced in the past. What's more impressive is the fact that they swept the series without the three best 1998-born players.
See what U16 coach Jussi Ahokas talked about before the Sweden games.

Some of the measurements on that line-up might not be up-to-date, for example Otto Koivula is for sure taller than 183cm.

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Originally Posted by JJTT View Post
Felixson and Niemeläinen look like interesting prospects in addition to Vaakanainen and Juolevi from the 98 and 99 d-man group.
Still very early, but Juuso Välimäki, Urho Vaakanainen and Olli Kaskinen might be the top 2017 eligible D’s at the moment.

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Originally Posted by YARR123 View Post
Was Sweden playing with best players?
At least Alexander Nylander wasn’t there.

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Originally Posted by wings5 View Post
My mistake, I assumed he was Finnish, how about Jussi Vikholm? http://www.legacyglobalsports.com/st...ts&tool=729324
Interesting story, comes from a remote small village in eastern central-Finland and needs to travel quite a long ways to even play for a half decent lower division team. Has pretty good skill level, but as of now he’s not very tall. Most of the more skilled guys in this Finnish 99-born age group are on the smaller side, hard to see that many serious NHL prospects at this point, hopefully some of them grow.

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12-26-2013, 08:42 AM
  #52
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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
Most of the more skilled guys in this Finnish 99-born age group are on the smaller side, hard to see that many serious NHL prospects at this point, hopefully some of them grow.
My favorite 1999 born Finns who I've seen so far are Linus Nyman, Eero Teräväinen, Henri Jokiharju, Kristian Vesalainen and Joel Kerkkänen. There are obviously a lot of other promising players as well who I have yet to see. Nyman is a smaller forward, but possesses plenty of skill. Jokiharju and Teräväinen looked very promising offensive defensemen. Vesalainen plays on a strong HIFK team, but he's one of the best players nonetheless. 6'2" tall, great shot and offensive skills. Kerkkänen has been pretty good, not exceptional but works hard and plays with energy.

Looking forward to see Blues C and some other strong teams playing soon.

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12-26-2013, 01:29 PM
  #53
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Originally Posted by Sparta2009 View Post
My favorite 1999 born Finns who I've seen so far are Linus Nyman, Eero Teräväinen, Henri Jokiharju, Kristian Vesalainen and Joel Kerkkänen. There are obviously a lot of other promising players as well who I have yet to see. Nyman is a smaller forward, but possesses plenty of skill. Jokiharju and Teräväinen looked very promising offensive defensemen. Vesalainen plays on a strong HIFK team, but he's one of the best players nonetheless. 6'2" tall, great shot and offensive skills. Kerkkänen has been pretty good, not exceptional but works hard and plays with energy.

Looking forward to see Blues C and some other strong teams playing soon.
That Jokerit quartet of Moilanen, Nyman, Teräväinen and Jokiharju is a good example how small many of the more skilled players are in this 99-born age group. All 4 are smaller than average.

Blues is another team with several small skilled guys; Ylönen, Ikonen, Tolvanen and Kinnunen just to name a few.

For me Vesalainen stood out with his size, strenght and physical game. He has some skill, but I'm not quite sure whether he has enough smarts or vision to be a truly productive scoring line player once we fast forward a few years. Interesting to see how he develops.


Last edited by Tormentor: 12-26-2013 at 02:20 PM.
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12-26-2013, 02:09 PM
  #54
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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
That Jokerit quartet of Moilanen, Nyman, Teräväinen and Jokiharju is a good example how small many of the more skilled players are in this 99-born age group. All 4 are smaller than average.

Blues is another team with several small skilled guys; Ylönen, Ikonen, Tolvanen and Kinnunen just to name a few.
Yep, it's true that there are a lot of smaller top players in this age-group. Hopefully at least some of them will grow few inches.

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For me Vesalainen stood out with his size, strenght and physical game. He has some skill, but I'm not quite sure whether he has enough smarts or vision to be a truly productive scoring like player once we fast forward a few years. Interesting to see how he develops.
Vesalainen has some very interesting tools - he's big and pretty strong, but I also think he's one of the most skilled players in the HIFK U16 team. Better than average stickhandler, has a great shot and makes player around him better. It's early to say whether he has NHL upside or not, but he's got clearly some power forward upside.

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12-27-2013, 11:52 AM
  #55
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Patrik Laine is a player you need to go see if you haven’t seen him yet. He’s almost like an Ovechkin impersonator out there on the ice, IMO the most entertaining prospect in Finland at the moment.
What's his skating like at this point? Last year I watched a video of a jr B game that he and Puljujarvi played in and at the time he seemed fairly slow and unsteady on his skates, especially compared to Puljujarvi.

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12-28-2013, 12:52 PM
  #56
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPhDoyNe8a8
There's a video where Patrik Laine scores hattrick against U17 Switzerland

---he scores 1-0,2-0 and 4-0 goals

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12-28-2013, 04:10 PM
  #57
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Originally Posted by FinnSkillz28 View Post
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPhDoyNe8a8
There's a video where Patrik Laine scores hattrick against U17 Switzerland

---he scores 1-0,2-0 and 4-0 goals
Joel Armia 2.0?

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12-28-2013, 06:11 PM
  #58
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Originally Posted by LoveHateLeafs View Post
What's his skating like at this point? Last year I watched a video of a jr B game that he and Puljujarvi played in and at the time he seemed fairly slow and unsteady on his skates, especially compared to Puljujarvi.
There’s room for improvement in his overall mobility, but that’s not a surprise considering his size. The good thing is that he seems to generate speed quite well, has no problems in that regards in Jr.A. With a good summer he should be ready to play in Liiga next season.

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Joel Armia 2.0?
A year ahead in development compared to Armia at the same age. Has a bit more edge in his game and if possible might actually have better hands and wirster. …But yes, there are similarities.

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01-01-2014, 06:48 AM
  #59
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I really like our possible 2015 possible U18 WHC team:

Aho - Saarela - Puljujärvi
Palmu - Nättinen - Laine
Tammela - Ruotsalainen - Tavernier
Piipponen - Niemelä - Mattila
Embrich

Huuhka - Vainio
Juolevi - Saarijärvi
Mattila - Andersson
Välimäki

Vehviläinen
Heljanko
Viksten

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01-02-2014, 08:32 AM
  #60
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Julius Vähätalo is making his Liiga debut tomorrow for TPS.

-95 born 196 cm tall, over ppg and +14 in juniors.

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01-02-2014, 09:18 PM
  #61
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You can see a recording of Mac's World Invitational AAA Midget Hockey Tournament final between FIN-U17 and SUI-U17 from here. Jump to 04:35:00 unless you want to see the girls final with triple overtime first.

Finnish line-up (Ruuskanen and Niemelä didn't dress for the Final):

1 Vehvilainen Veini
30 Vikstén Niko

3 Järvinen Ville
4 Mattila Jesper
7 Juolevi Olli
8 Ruuskanen Waltteri
9 Saarijärvi Vili
23 Andersson Eetu
24 Vainio Veeti

11 Björkqvist Kasper
13 Vidgren Aaro
14 Niemelä Joonas
15 Palmu Petrus
16 Ruotsalainen Arttu
18 Heikkinen Jaakko
20 Tavernier Sami
21 Puljujarvi Jesse
25 Nättinen Julius
26 Embrich Erik
27 Laine Patrik
28 Mattila Julius
29 Piipponen Topi

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01-03-2014, 11:19 AM
  #62
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Is Laine really 90kg/200lbs already?

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01-03-2014, 01:03 PM
  #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
You can see a recording of Mac's World Invitational AAA Midget Hockey Tournament final between FIN-U17 and SUI-U17 from here. Jump to 04:35:00 unless you want to see the girls final with triple overtime first.

Finnish line-up (Ruuskanen and Niemelä didn't dress for the Final):

1 Vehvilainen Veini
30 Vikstén Niko

3 Järvinen Ville
4 Mattila Jesper
7 Juolevi Olli
8 Ruuskanen Waltteri
9 Saarijärvi Vili
23 Andersson Eetu
24 Vainio Veeti

11 Björkqvist Kasper
13 Vidgren Aaro
14 Niemelä Joonas
15 Palmu Petrus
16 Ruotsalainen Arttu
18 Heikkinen Jaakko
20 Tavernier Sami
21 Puljujarvi Jesse
25 Nättinen Julius
26 Embrich Erik
27 Laine Patrik
28 Mattila Julius
29 Piipponen Topi
The commentators really liked team Finland.. They where almost sure that Patrik Laine will play in the NHL at some point. Also they thought that from this team there would be multiple first rounders.

Nice to hear finnish kids get some hype from elsewhere.

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01-03-2014, 01:53 PM
  #64
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Originally Posted by edd1e View Post
The commentators really liked team Finland.. They where almost sure that Patrik Laine will play in the NHL at some point. Also they thought that from this team there would be multiple first rounders.

Nice to hear finnish kids get some hype from elsewhere.
And they were right. 2015 draft class is nice but that 2016 draft class is VERY impressive, probably could be the best ever. Im so looking forward to 2016 WJC which is held in Finland

Really like that Finland is starting to produce good players with size now.

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01-03-2014, 03:05 PM
  #65
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Anyone want to take a stab what kind of team we will play in U18's WC in Lappeenranta? Tournament starts 17.4.

I tried.

Rantanen-Nättinen-Kapanen
Lammikko-Hintz-Saarela
Aho-Kalapudas-Hopponen
Kiviranta-Honkanen-Lämsä
Repo

Tuulola-Vainio
Niku-Sopanen
Keskitalo-Saarijärvi
Rouhiainen

Kähkönen
Vehviläinen
Saari


Last edited by JJTT: 01-03-2014 at 04:23 PM.
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01-03-2014, 05:17 PM
  #66
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Originally Posted by JJTT View Post
Anyone want to take a stab what kind of team we will play in U18's WC in Lappeenranta? Tournament starts 17.4.

I tried.

Rantanen-Nättinen-Kapanen
Lammikko-Hintz-Saarela
Aho-Kalapudas-Hopponen
Kiviranta-Honkanen-Lämsä
Repo

Tuulola-Vainio
Niku-Sopanen
Keskitalo-Saarijärvi
Rouhiainen

Kähkönen
Vehviläinen
Saari
I'd assume Saarela is our no. 1 center, no? Seems like we'll have a good team, at least the forwards. Also do you think there's any chance Laine or Puljujärvi gets a spot?

Here's my forwards lottery:

Aho - Saarela - Kapanen
Lämmikko - Rantanen - Lämsä
Kalapudas - Hintz - Hopponen
Kiviranta - Honkanen - Laine
Pitkänen
edit: probably Nättinen somewhere there too

There seems to be a lot of good 96-97 kids that have been doing very well in jr. A already. There will be some good players left out.

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01-03-2014, 05:46 PM
  #67
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DekeLikeYouMeanIt View Post
Is Laine really 90kg/200lbs already?
Hard to say, but at least he's tall and well built for his age.

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Originally Posted by edd1e View Post
Also they thought that from this team there would be multiple first rounders.
Nättinen has the potential to go in the first two rounds if he develops well. I think Vainio has very good upside as a puck moving defenseman, but he's still very much a work in progress so 1st round seems unlikely at this point.

Laine, Puljujärvi and Juolevi are of course very interesting prospects for 2016, but that draft is still two and a half years away so it's more difficult to predict what could happen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJTT View Post
Anyone want to take a stab what kind of team we will play in U18's WC in Lappeenranta? Tournament starts 17.4.

I tried.

Rantanen-Nättinen-Kapanen
Lammikko-Hintz-Saarela
Aho-Kalapudas-Hopponen
Kiviranta-Honkanen-Lämsä
Repo

Tuulola-Vainio
Niku-Sopanen
Keskitalo-Saarijärvi
Rouhiainen

Kähkönen
Vehviläinen
Saari
My guess at the moment;

Joel Kiviranta - Aleksi Saarela - Kasperi Kapanen
Juho Lammikko - Teemu Lämsä - Mikko Rantanen
Sebastian Aho - Antti Kalapudas - Waltteri Hopponen
Roope Hintz - Manu Honkanen - Sebastian Repo

Sami Niku - Eetu Sopanen
Joni Tuulola - Miro Keskitalo
Ville Väinölä - Sebastian Moberg
Jere Rouhiainen

Kaapo Kähkönen
Mikael Saari/Joona Voutilainen


Atte Mäkinen - Miro Mäkinen - Antti Kauppinen has been a dependable 4th line for this age group for a long time, wouldn't surprise me that much if Urama wants to bring them along as a unit. Miikka Pitkänen, Julius Nättinen and Patrik Laine might be decent options if Urama wants to add more skill to the team.

Vili Saarijärvi would probably improve that line-up, I think Urama should try him out with the U18 team. Jarkko Parikka and Veeti Vainio might be the other underage D's with an outside chance of making the team.

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01-04-2014, 08:32 AM
  #68
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RD has benched Saarela once again, after playing one game in third line. Kid really needs to go to CHL next year.

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01-04-2014, 09:14 AM
  #69
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RD has benched Saarela once again, after playing one game in third line. Kid really needs to go to CHL next year.
Well, he did only sign a 1-year deal with Lukko, right? So I assume he is on his way to Canada or another Liiga team after this season if he and his dad are not happy.

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01-05-2014, 03:54 AM
  #70
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I watched the Mac's tournament final last night. I know it's just one game, but I wanted to give some impressions of Laine. I know this was the only game in the whole tournament where he didn't score, but his lack of effort seemed like a red flag to me. I know that this tournament was far below his level, but you would have thought that in the final, when he was playing a team closer in skill level to his own, that he could have mustered some more enthusiasm. Instead, he seemed disinterested much of the time. Some times he would blow the Finnish zone early, leading to a Swiss chance against. Other times, he would trail behind the play in the offensive zone rather than heading to the net for a rebound. Of course, on the very next shift, he would make some awesome toe drag or skate through some Swiss players. I think that`s why he`s frustrated me whenever I`ve watched him play. He also still seems unsteady and slowish, as if he`s fighting the ice, though definitely improved from over a year ago. By contrast, watching Puljujarvi skate is a joy. Everything he does seems effortless. He also seemed to want the puck more, always trying to either get it himself or put himself in the best position for someone else to get it to him.

I understand that Laine and Puljujarvi may well be different kinds of players and some players can have just as much of an impact on the game while only having the puck on their stick for fractions of a second at a time, but Laine just didn't seem to want the puck the way Puljujarvi did.

An aside: After watching the Canada Finland semi-final, I was astonished by Artturi Lehkonen's play. Maybe it was a fluke, but I had no idea that he was so good defensively. He was blocking shots, intercepting passes, picking pockets and clearing pucks like a man possessed. If he had been picked as Finland's player of the game, I wouldn't have been surprised at all. I also wouldn't be surprised if his leg is still injured. You couldn't really tell from his play, but there were a couple of shots of him skating between whistles and he seemed to be favouring his one leg. If he can bring that sort of toughness and defensive responsibility to North America, it should really ease his transition into the NHL.

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01-05-2014, 04:03 AM
  #71
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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
Joel Kiviranta - Aleksi Saarela - Kasperi Kapanen
Juho Lammikko - Teemu Lämsä - Mikko Rantanen
Sebastian Aho - Antti Kalapudas - Waltteri Hopponen
Roope Hintz - Manu Honkanen - Sebastian Repo
Isn't Hintz a centre? Also,given his Jr A scoring rate (the highest on the above roster), why do you see him as a 4th liner?

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01-05-2014, 08:44 AM
  #72
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Originally Posted by LoveHateLeafs View Post
I watched the Mac's tournament final last night. I know it's just one game, but I wanted to give some impressions of Laine. I know this was the only game in the whole tournament where he didn't score, but his lack of effort seemed like a red flag to me. I know that this tournament was far below his level, but you would have thought that in the final, when he was playing a team closer in skill level to his own, that he could have mustered some more enthusiasm. Instead, he seemed disinterested much of the time. Some times he would blow the Finnish zone early, leading to a Swiss chance against. Other times, he would trail behind the play in the offensive zone rather than heading to the net for a rebound. Of course, on the very next shift, he would make some awesome toe drag or skate through some Swiss players. I think that`s why he`s frustrated me whenever I`ve watched him play. He also still seems unsteady and slowish, as if he`s fighting the ice, though definitely improved from over a year ago. By contrast, watching Puljujarvi skate is a joy. Everything he does seems effortless. He also seemed to want the puck more, always trying to either get it himself or put himself in the best position for someone else to get it to him.

I understand that Laine and Puljujarvi may well be different kinds of players and some players can have just as much of an impact on the game while only having the puck on their stick for fractions of a second at a time, but Laine just didn't seem to want the puck the way Puljujarvi did.

An aside: After watching the Canada Finland semi-final, I was astonished by Artturi Lehkonen's play. Maybe it was a fluke, but I had no idea that he was so good defensively. He was blocking shots, intercepting passes, picking pockets and clearing pucks like a man possessed. If he had been picked as Finland's player of the game, I wouldn't have been surprised at all. I also wouldn't be surprised if his leg is still injured. You couldn't really tell from his play, but there were a couple of shots of him skating between whistles and he seemed to be favouring his one leg. If he can bring that sort of toughness and defensive responsibility to North America, it should really ease his transition into the NHL.
Artturi Lehkonen is finnish version of Zach Parise. Might not have similar upside but they play similar way. Lehkonen has always been playing PKing on finnish national junior teams and is good two-way player. This guy never gives up and he is fearless.

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01-05-2014, 04:47 PM
  #73
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-94 d-men group is so sick. This is what we need. Defense is our biggest weakness.
Lehtonen and Vainio are only guys from that WJC gold medal team that i don't see with nhl future. Though Lehtonen is like robot he doesn't make mistakes at all.

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01-05-2014, 04:59 PM
  #74
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RD has benched Saarela once again, after playing one game in third line. Kid really needs to go to CHL next year.
I think he was sick. At least some rauma fishermen talked so. This boy seems to be a lot like Sakari Salminen as a junior, misses lots of games because of sicknesses.

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01-06-2014, 01:33 PM
  #75
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Originally Posted by LoveHateLeafs View Post
I watched the Mac's tournament final last night. I know it's just one game, but I wanted to give some impressions of Laine.
Puljujärvi can be a frustrating player to watch at times as well, he could do more on the ice. You'll understand what I mean when you see him having a weaker game.

One thing to remember about Laine is that he’s still a Jr.C aged player. He might be more of an extreme case, but he’s not the first skilled guy to be blamed for lack of effort and poor defensive game in that age. And I have to say that he has already shown improvement, because last season he was a total diva at times. Decisive factor will be how well he adapts as he moves up the ranks. Interesting to see how his game evolves once he hits the ice under the coaching of someone like Rautakorpi, that'll be a true test of his personality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LoveHateLeafs View Post
Isn't Hintz a centre? Also,given his Jr A scoring rate (the highest on the above roster), why do you see him as a 4th liner?
Saarela, Lämsä, Kalapudas, Honkanen, M.Mäkinen, Repo, Hintz and Nättinen are all centre forwards, in addition Lammikko can play that position if need be. Alternatives are plentiful.

If Saarela and Kapanen are teamed up, I think Kiviranta would be a good 3rd wheel for that line. He's a smart player with good two-way game, would balance it nicely. Lammikko-Lämsä-Rantanen line has played together in past tournaments and shown good results. Aho-Kalapudas duo plays on the same line for Kärpät, would make sense to keep them together. Hopponen played with them in Hlinka, that's why I threw his name in there. Hintz and Repo played wing at U18 4nations tournament in Turku, it's possible Urama could use them in a similar role in future as well.

That 4nations in Turku is the only U18 tournament where Hintz has played in so far and he wasn't one of the go-to-guys there. Remains to be seen whether he’s able to find such a role with the national team this season.

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