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Granlund , Pulkkinen, Rajala

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10-14-2010, 01:17 PM
  #1
HOCKEY_GURU
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Granlund , Pulkkinen, Rajala

All three approximately a point a game and young, do the stats suggest that Pulkkinen and Rajala are closer to Granlund rather than the draft position suggests?

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10-14-2010, 04:27 PM
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I think Pulkkinen is surely in the same league as Granlund. His size (or lack of) and injury have lowered his draft stock. He was projected as a 1st rounder (possible top 10) before they derailed him.

About Rajala I am not so sure and have less knowledge, but I think he is also a sure thing to make the NHL in the long run.

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10-14-2010, 04:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HOCKEY_GURU View Post
All three approximately a point a game and young, do the stats suggest that Pulkkinen and Rajala are closer to Granlund rather than the draft position suggests?
Compared to last season Pulkkinen has shown more progress in his game than Granlund, so in a way he has reduced the difference. On the other hand most of the weaknesses that were there before the draft still exist in his game. Therefore the likelihood of him having a lengthy NHL career probably hasnít improved drastically.

As far as Rajala goes, nothing has really changed, heís still pretty much the same soft perimeter player as before. Few glimpses of brilliance in a game, but thatís it. Itís still unlikely that he develops into a full time NHL player.

Some biased person at a sandpit told me that the top Finnish NHL prospects are:
(1.) Joel Armia
2. Sami Vatanen
3. Mikael Granlund
4. Mikko Koskinen
5. Joonas Donskoi
6. Erik Haula
7. Teemu Pulkkinen
8. Jussi Rynnšs
9. Teemu Hartikainen
10. Toni Rajala

Strange music.

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10-15-2010, 11:22 AM
  #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
Compared to last season Pulkkinen has shown more progress in his game than Granlund, so in a way he has reduced the difference. On the other hand most of the weaknesses that were there before the draft still exist in his game. Therefore the likelihood of him having a lengthy NHL career probably hasnít improved drastically.

As far as Rajala goes, nothing has really changed, heís still pretty much the same soft perimeter player as before. Few glimpses of brilliance in a game, but thatís it. Itís still unlikely that he develops into a full time NHL player.

Some biased person at a sandpit told me that the top Finnish NHL prospects are:
(1.) Joel Armia
2. Sami Vatanen
3. Mikael Granlund
4. Mikko Koskinen
5. Joonas Donskoi
6. Erik Haula
7. Teemu Pulkkinen
8. Jussi Rynnšs
9. Teemu Hartikainen
10. Toni Rajala

Strange music.
What a strange list


I really want to get up to U of Minn sometime to see Haula play... He really is a forgotten prospect but he's got 4 assists in 2 games so far...

Vatanen's WC stats don't impress me much... But 9 points in 11 games is fantastic.

Why Joel Armia #1?

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10-15-2010, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aittokallio View Post
What a strange list


I really want to get up to U of Minn sometime to see Haula play... He really is a forgotten prospect but he's got 4 assists in 2 games so far...

Vatanen's WC stats don't impress me much... But 9 points in 11 games is fantastic.

Why Joel Armia #1?
Armia, youngest player in the SM-liiga and is 4+4=8 when he wasn't expected to be a full time player in general. Right handed RW and loves to score goals. So if you're talking about Pulkkinen/Rajala/Granlund being at a point per game pace, might as well throw him in there. He's also nearly 6'4" at 17 years old so he has a considerable size advantage over the other guys. Regardless of hype I think if he kept up his performance he'd have a better chance at performing well in the NHL than P/G/R.

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10-16-2010, 06:37 AM
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Based on comments from "eyewitnesses" from yesterday's Lukko-Jokerit game, Pulkkinen seems to have found his physicality again, throwing a big hit during the game.

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10-16-2010, 03:31 PM
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Just another quick note about Armia, his stats are now 6+4=10 in 9 games. Back to back 2 goal games for him.

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10-16-2010, 08:31 PM
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Here is a link to Armia's two damn impressive goals from tonight...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_nQkko62j8w

The defenceman (T.Pettinen) he beat there in the first goal had the second best +/- in the SM-liiga last year - before the over-expensive surgeon M.Nylander made an operation to his eye with the stick, and ended his season...

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10-17-2010, 10:52 AM
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Nice...wonder if he will go top 10 in the draft.

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11-03-2010, 06:34 AM
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you guys cursed this Armia guy i see.

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Old
11-16-2010, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
Some biased person at a sandpit told me that the top Finnish NHL prospects are:
(1.) Joel Armia
2. Sami Vatanen
3. Mikael Granlund
4. Mikko Koskinen
5. Joonas Donskoi
6. Erik Haula
7. Teemu Pulkkinen
8. Jussi Rynnšs
9. Teemu Hartikainen
10. Toni Rajala

Strange music.
Nice and interesting list. Armia first. Good. Vatanen over Granlund?! Whatta Faak.

Who is this biased person at sandpit? Scout or random beer drinker?

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11-16-2010, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by The Saw Is the Law View Post
Nice and interesting list. Armia first. Good. Vatanen over Granlund?! Whatta Faak.
Armia, Vatanen and Granlund are the only elite prospects we have, unless we take a look at the 2013 draft class and make a bold statement. Therefore it's six of one, half a dozen of the other in what order the rest of the prospects are ranked in, since the chances are that they aren't going to amount into anything meaningful at NHL level anyways.

Ranking Armia first is obvious, he has the size and the talent, his skating will be worked to a required level and his overall game will improve once he gains more experience and strength. Vatanen is slightly ahead of Granlund, he's a superior skater, a better player at the moment and also closer to playing in the NHL. Pasi Nurminen said a while ago in an interview; "We have young talent a la Granlund and Vatanen, Vatanen especially, a really superb player." One has to agree, only knock on Vatanen is that he's smallish and inherently pretty scrawny. Otherwise he's the real deal, as good as they come. If he doesnít make it to the NHL, heíll dominate European rinks for 15 years.

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Originally Posted by The Saw Is the Law View Post
Who is this biased person at sandpit? Scout or random beer drinker?
Maybe it was the same one person that did the beer drinking and the other, but who knows, it's a strange place this. In all seriousness you don't have to be a scout to make a somewhat educated evaluation. It's another thing if anyone takes any notice of it. On the other hand I've seen a scout leave the game midway through because the player that he came to see was ejected from the game, so much for the love of the game, an ex-NHL player and all.

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Old
11-16-2010, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
If he doesnít make it to the NHL, heíll dominate European rinks for 15 years.
Like Petteri Nummelin? Their style of play is also quite similiar.

And btw, I think that Teemu Pulkkinen is also an elite prospect, 1+1 today and 19 points overall so far.

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11-16-2010, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tormentor View Post
Vatanen is slightly ahead of Granlund, he's a superior skater, a better player at the moment and also closer to playing in the NHL. Pasi Nurminen said a while ago in an interview; "We have young talent a la Granlund and Vatanen, Vatanen especially, a really superb player." One has to agree, only knock on Vatanen is that he's smallish and inherently pretty scrawny. Otherwise he's the real deal, as good as they come. If he doesnít make it to the NHL, heíll dominate European rinks for 15 years.
Speaking of Vatanen..(not sure where else i should place the question).. i was really surprised to see him assigned to the junior national team instead of the senior one for the Karjala Cup. Only reason i can imagine is them wanting the U20 team to get ready for the WJC, is that the case? any how did he perform in that junior tournament btw?

while we are it..
at the start of this season i read rumours about him being closer to the KHL than to the NHL (speculations probably arised after he was selected among the firsts in their draft).. and rumours that he resigned for 2 more yrs with his Finnish club, meaning he would stay there for at least 2 more seasons.

i hope you guys can enlighten me over this.. i would expect his contract to have a NHL clause to leave before that if making the Ducks out of the next camps.. but those rumours somehow suggested otherwise.. so i doubt their autenticity.

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11-16-2010, 09:51 PM
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Originally Posted by helicecopter View Post
Speaking of Vatanen..(not sure where else i should place the question).. i was really surprised to see him assigned to the junior national team instead of the senior one for the Karjala Cup. Only reason i can imagine is them wanting the U20 team to get ready for the WJC, is that the case? any how did he perform in that junior tournament btw?


i hope you guys can enlighten me over this.. i would expect his contract to have a NHL clause to leave before that if making the Ducks out of the next camps.. but those rumours somehow suggested otherwise.. so i doubt their autenticity.
Yes, U-20 team needs as many games or time together before the tournament as possible.

No need for clauses, Finland signed a transfer agreement last year already.

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11-17-2010, 02:13 AM
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Having seen most of his games, I'm extremely impressed by Pulkkinen's playmaking and passing skills. His hockey sense and vision is something very very rare in the SM-liiga and in every game he gives a couple of unbelieveble passes. If his team mates could just score...

I actually think this season his game has been clearly better than Granlund's and I'm not so sure Granlund is the better offensive zone player. Pulkkinen's skating is better, shot is better, and playmaking skills seem to be very close to MG.

Their teams, linemates and icetime are quite different as well. Granlund's average icetime is 3rd within his team forwards, Pulkkinen's is 8th. Also the fact that Pulkkinen's centerman has only 6 points because he sucks so bad, means that Pulkkinen has had to take more of a playmaking role with Janne Lahti being the sniper of their line. The amount of great scoring chances Pulkkinen sets up for Lahti is really impressive and one of the reasons Lahti made the national team last week.

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11-17-2010, 07:50 AM
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Having seen most of his games, I'm extremely impressed by Pulkkinen's playmaking and passing skills. His hockey sense and vision is something very very rare in the SM-liiga and in every game he gives a couple of unbelieveble passes. If his team mates could just score...

I actually think this season his game has been clearly better than Granlund's and I'm not so sure Granlund is the better offensive zone player. Pulkkinen's skating is better, shot is better, and playmaking skills seem to be very close to MG.

Their teams, linemates and icetime are quite different as well. Granlund's average icetime is 3rd within his team forwards, Pulkkinen's is 8th. Also the fact that Pulkkinen's centerman has only 6 points because he sucks so bad, means that Pulkkinen has had to take more of a playmaking role with Janne Lahti being the sniper of their line. The amount of great scoring chances Pulkkinen sets up for Lahti is really impressive and one of the reasons Lahti made the national team last week.
HIFK hate?

Pulkkinen seems to be so... afraid every time he's playing.
Oh, and his playmaking skills are not even close to those of Granlund.

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11-17-2010, 09:05 AM
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HIFK hate?
Yes, a little. But no Granlund hate This had nothing to do with criticizing Hifk anyway...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Latexi84 View Post
Pulkkinen seems to be so... afraid every time he's playing.
He's not physically at the senior level but is developing this every game he plays.. I can't say he's afraid, last season I probably would have said that.
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Oh, and his playmaking skills are not even close to those of Granlund.
It's hard to take comments like this seriously if you don't give reasons to defend your view... Just because Granlund is one heck of a playmaker and Pulkkinen is generally considered a sniper doesn't mean he couldn't possibly be very close to MG in playmaking skills... Players change and develop in different ways, you know? Pulkkinen has undergone massive development during the last 6 months, how about Granlund?

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11-17-2010, 09:49 AM
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Like Petteri Nummelin? Their style of play is also quite similiar.
I have a feeling that as a player Vatanen is closer to Brian Rafalski than Nummelin.

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And btw, I think that Teemu Pulkkinen is also an elite prospect, 1+1 today and 19 points overall so far.
What Pulkkinen does with the puck in the offensive zone is mostly very impressive, but hockey is a three zone game at itís highest level and itís pretty hard to make it if you have a weakness, let alone if you have several of them like Pulkkinen. Think of Pavel Rosa, in a sense a very similar player to Pulkkinen; a good shot, great vision and a pretty high skill level, but still far from a regular NHL player because of the clear shortcomings in his game.

There are reasons why Pulkkinen dropped to the 4th round and one of them wasnít that he was an unknown prospect, since he was one of the most well known Europeans in the whole draft. Iím not going to claim that I know all the reasons why he dropped all the way to #111th overall, but hereís a few that might just have some truth in them;
- Heís pretty weak on his skates and itís not that hard to push him of the puck.
- Heís weak along the boards and looses most of his battles for loose pucks.
- His skating isnít exceptionally strong, his turns, crossovers and pivots arenít that good.
- He doesnít have enough separation speed or reach to really challenge a big mobile defenseman in a clear one-on-one situation.
- Not the best two-way player and not exceptionally strong on the forecheck.

Pulkkinen weighed 185 lbs at the combine which is 84 kilos, and probably gained some more weight during the rest of the summer as was reported, but he still looks like a featherweight on the ice. Not a good sign considering that he should get a lot stronger. I donít know how much you watch NHL, but itís a league where you have to battle for every opening and opportunity. Itís a crushing environment and definitely doesnít suit most players. Pulu might be eaten for breakfast.

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11-17-2010, 10:22 AM
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Yes, a little. But no Granlund hate This had nothing to do with criticizing Hifk anyway...


He's not physically at the senior level but is developing this every game he plays.. I can't say he's afraid, last season I probably would have said that.
It's hard to take comments like this seriously if you don't give reasons to defend your view... Just because Granlund is one heck of a playmaker and Pulkkinen is generally considered a sniper doesn't mean he couldn't possibly be very close to MG in playmaking skills... Players change and develop in different ways, you know? Pulkkinen has undergone massive development during the last 6 months, how about Granlund?
I have seen 4 games of Granlund and 2 games in which Pulkkinen played this year.

I have to admit that MG hasn't look that dominate this year, but he's the one with amazing work ethic, grit and want to go to the dirty areas.. whereas Pulkkinen is almost as good with the puck as him, but doesn't seem to want to take a risk of recieving the huge hit along the boards for going thru that tiny space the defender leaves there. He just seems to back down nice and easy trying not to make the opposing player angry by touching him.

This might not sound too bad, but for me fear seems to be one of the things holding Teemu back, and it may not be easy to overcome it.

Also, Granlund should play his career as a winger IMO he's too slow for center role.


Last edited by Latex*: 11-17-2010 at 01:10 PM.
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11-17-2010, 11:43 AM
  #21
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I had the exact same feelings about Pulkkinen as Latexi and Tormentor in the first games of the season, but watching him play this season has changed my view quite a bit. He's in his first full season and you can see it; he's not even close to as physical as the other players but he seems to cope quite well. He was sooo easy to push off the puck especially in the boards, but he gets stronger at this every single game. Actually I think you can't say he's bad in the corners and along the boards because their line has been forced(Jokerit have/had really bad offensive game) to play most of their offensive game by 'dump and chase' and mainly making plays from along the boards. He scored lots of ES points regardless of this and if you look at him play, he's all the time better at the board plays. Actually, I remember him loosing maybe one or two battles for the puck in the 1st and 3rd periods combined(when I sat right at their offensive zone boards).

For a small and rather weak forward, I think it's obvious that he's having a bit of a tuff time adapting to a more physical game than in juniors. He's 20 games into his rookie season(I know this is a bit controversial, cause he played some games in the league earlier) and reflecting on that I think he's doing pretty damn good in the physical part of play aswell.

Good thing (imo.) you can always teach defense but offensive game and hockey sense is quite much harder to teach. Good thing he's not a d-man...

I'm a huge fan of him, but I try to view his game as neutrally as possible. Sometimes it can be very hard

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Old
11-17-2010, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Latexi84 View Post
I have seen 4 games of Granlund and 2 games in which Pulkkinen played this year.

I have to admit that MG hasn't look that dominate this year, but he's the one with amazing work ethic, grit and want to go to the dirty areas.. whereas Pulkkinen is almost as good with the puck as him, but doesn't seem to want to take a risk of recieving the huge hit along the boards for going thru that tiny space the defender leaves there. He just seems to back down nice and easy trying not to make the opposing player angry by touching him.

This might not sound too bad, but for me fear seems to be one of the things holding Teemu back, and it may not be easy to overcome it.

Also, Granlund should play his career as a winger IMO he's too slow for center role.
I think that this is one of his biggest shortcomings as a hockey player, that he is afraid of playing an aggressive typ of hockey where you need to take hits and give hits. During the summer practices in Jokerit this was his biggest problem, that he was afraid of the hits along the boards and fairly to get the puck from him, according to one of the players I talked to. This could make it very hard for him to play in the NHL at some point...

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11-17-2010, 03:27 PM
  #23
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playmaking skills seem to be very close to MG.


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11-17-2010, 04:18 PM
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Saying that Pulkkinen's playmaking skills seem to be very close to MG, might be a slight overstatement IMO, but he's a good playmaker and can certainly run the power play if need to. He's imaginative, has good timing and his passes are very good. For some reason there are people who think that Pulu is just a sniper, but his offensive arsenal is clearly more comprehensive. Pulkkinen is no one trick pony, he's a two trick donkey.


Last edited by Tormentor: 11-17-2010 at 04:23 PM.
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11-17-2010, 05:28 PM
  #25
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I think that this is one of his biggest shortcomings as a hockey player, that he is afraid of playing an aggressive typ of hockey where you need to take hits and give hits. During the summer practices in Jokerit this was his biggest problem, that he was afraid of the hits along the boards and fairly to get the puck from him, according to one of the players I talked to. This could make it very hard for him to play in the NHL at some point...
Considering he had shoulder surgery after last season and was cleared to train with the other team a bit late, it's not surprising if was a little timid. Bare in mind that he' still not allowed to do bench presses.

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