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Is finnish prospects underrated?

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08-20-2010, 05:02 PM
  #1
cheerupmurray
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Is finnish prospects underrated?

I have got the feeling that finnish prospects is currently underrated. Do you agree?
Pulkkinen in the fourth round seems way to low.
Haula in the seventh, Hartikainen in the sixth, Rajala, Donskoi and Vatanen in the fourth also seems like possible steals.
Maybe Finland is in the situation Sweden was in 2005 where few players were drafted, most of them drafted in the lower rounds but quite a few of them actually made NHL and was rather sucessful. (Hjalmarsson 4th, Wandell 5th, Strålman and Hörnqvist 7th)

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08-21-2010, 04:08 AM
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The Saw Is the Law
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I really hope they are underrated.

Rajala broke Ovechkins U18 scoring record 2009. Rajala did 10+9 in 6 games, drafted fourth round.

Pulkkinen did most goals and points in U18 championships 2010. 10+5 drafted fourth round.

What happens here?

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08-21-2010, 02:34 PM
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Grove
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Saw Is the Law View Post
I really hope they are underrated.

Rajala broke Ovechkins U18 scoring record 2009. Rajala did 10+9 in 6 games, drafted fourth round.

Pulkkinen did most goals and points in U18 championships 2010. 10+5 drafted fourth round.

What happens here?
Neither had a really great season outside the U18-tournament, which isn't even a very highly regarded tournament by scouts. Both are also somewhat undersized, especially Rajala, and Pulkkinen had injury problems.

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08-21-2010, 05:58 PM
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Tony Piscotta
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To build on his point, I think scouts are a bit skeptical about the success against other junior players vs. playing in senior leagues. I think that's why you saw Granlund go in the first round - having established himself in the SM-Liiga whereas Pulkkinen has yet to do so.

I also think scouts are probably leery of forwards from Finland at this point because the track record of recent top picks hasn't been good - Niinimaa, Tukonen, Wirtanen, etc.

It will be interesting to see how Sami Vatanen pans out in North America if (when) he goes over.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Grove View Post
Neither had a really great season outside the U18-tournament, which isn't even a very highly regarded tournament by scouts. Both are also somewhat undersized, especially Rajala, and Pulkkinen had injury problems.

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08-21-2010, 11:57 PM
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LoveHateLeafs
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Well, the obvious issue is that Finland just hasn’t produced an NHL star-calibre forward or defenseman in a long time. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think a single Finnish NHL player has had a point per game season since Olli Jokinen and Teemu Selanne did in 06-07. With the possible exception of Mikko Koivu, I don’t think there’s a current Finnish NHLer with the potential to have such a season. Their Olympic team, though it medaled, was probably the oldest in the tournament, with their youngest players turning 26 this year.

Another problem with Finns that probably concerns NHL scouts is that even when they do successfully develop, it can take a long time compared to other high picks. Olli Jokinen was 24 years old and on his third NHL team before he hit 30 goals, and was 27 before his first point per game season. Mikko Koivu only turned into a consistent NHL performer at age 23, and Tuomo Ruutu really only hit his stride consistently at age 25. In a capped world, getting superior performance out of young players on entry-level contracts is a major factor in the success of many teams. This means that ideally, a top ten draft pick should be outperforming their contract by age 23.

I will admit that I’m a little puzzled by the apparent lack of attention that Vatanen has received. He certainly seems to have the tools to be a good small NHL D-man. You’d probably find that if he had come to the CHL or been drafted by a Canadian/Big Market team, Vatanen would be getting a lot more love around here.

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08-22-2010, 01:02 AM
  #6
MALKIN NTHE MIDDLE
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I really think they are underrated Rajala is a beast & he get's no love anywhere

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08-22-2010, 05:56 PM
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ThinMcWhistle
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I think a lot of it has to do with the issue of size, or lack thereof. Had Pulkkinen been 6'2 200 pounds he would have been a lock for the 1st round. Same with Rajala and Vatanen. Granlund I agree was an early 1st rounder because of his success in the SM liiga along with the obvious talent level.

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08-23-2010, 06:23 AM
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Quethas
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Size seems to be issue many times. Of course much has to do with the fact that not too many finnish picks have succeeded in recent years also, but there are many who seems to be afraid of the small size. Rajala and Pulkkinen seemed to suffer about it.

There are for an example Joel Armia, Mika Partanen, Sami Salminen and Jesper Kokkonen available in next Draft. It will be interesting to see where they are picked. Especially if some of them are succesful in international games.

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