[Noma's Watch] Look at the probable WJC players of Finland
If someone is interested, here's a short brief of the players that play for Finland U20 team in last tournament before the WJC. I posted this to the Prospect or Suspect forum too, but maybe it finds more readers here. This list excludes Mikael Granlund who is playing with the Men's National Team and Olli Maatta and Christopher Gibson who play in Canada, but probably you're already more familiar with these guys than those in this list.
Sami Aittokallio 19-year-old Ilves goalie has split his games this season with three teams. Ilves' men's team in SM-liiga, their Junior A team and LeKi in Mestis (the 2nd-tier men's league in Finland). Playing behind the crappiest team currently playing in SM-liiga, he has posted quite respective numbers: GAA 2.36 and SV% of .927. He still shows some hesitation and shakiness typical for young goalies, but there is no doubt that he will continue the tradition of great Finnish goalies some day.
Ville Kolppanen Another 19-year-old Ilves goalie Ville Kolppanen was loaned to KHL team Barys Astana's junior team a while ago because he was stuck behing Aittokallio, former NHL goalie Vesa Toskala and former Rangers (mostly farm) goalie Miika Wiikman in Ilves' depth chart. He played two games in Mestis and was very solid and mature there, and according to reports, he has continued that in the MHL. He is undrafted, but if his season continues like that, this fact may change in next June.
Ville Pokka 1994-born Karpat D-man Pokka has been projected to be early 2nd round pick in early lists of next years draft. Pokka has nice and strong frame of 6'0" and 198 lbs and also significant playmaking skills. He is capable of giving highlight reel 100-feet passes, and could well make it to the NHL in a few years.
Henri Auvinen 18-year-old JYP defender will probably never make it to the NHL, but is a solid third-pair defensive D-man for Finland in the WJC.
Jani Hakanpaa St. Louis' 2010 4th round draft pick Hakanpaa is now playing his first season in the men's league, but hasn't been able to turn his point production from the juniors into the men's league. He is still notable player in (very deep) fantasy leagues, since he will probably get a shot in the big league some day.
Valtteri Hietanen Another 18-year-old defensive D-man from JYP. Will have tough time to make it to the playing line-up.
Rasmus Ristolainen One of the best defensemen of the 1994-born age group. He got a flying start to his first season in the men's league tallying 4 points in first 8 games, but has gone 0+0 in eight games after that. He is still a huge prospect, and while being only 17, will play big role in Finnish blueline in the WJC.
Julius Nyqvist A defensive D-man from the HIFK fighting for a spot in the third pair.
Konsta Makinen Makinen was supposed to make it to the men's league this season, but Ilves signed two high profile veteran D-men and Makinen injured himself during the summer and he ended up playing in LeKi in Mestis. No NHL potential.
Simo-Pekka Riikola Has put up great numbers in the Junior A league this season (5+3 in 5 GP), but is not going to have that big role in the WJC.
Teemu Pulkkinen Pulkkinen probably doesn't need a lot of introduction. 19-year-old Detroit prospect finished last year in nearly point-per-game pace in the SM-liiga and has continued his great game this season. Last year it was 8 points (all assists) in 7 games in the WJC - now with Mikael Granlund and Joel Armia in same line? Could be double.
Joel Armia First round draft pick of Buffalo Sabres has struggled a bit this season in SM-liiga. Although being just 18, he was loaded with high expectations and he was supposed to be Assat's top gun. He has only 2+5 in 18 GP for now, but he will certainly bounce back. And in the WJC with Mikael Granlund and Teemu Pulkkinen with him - should be great numbers.
Miikka Salomaki The Predators picked up this 18-year-old Karpat forward in the 2nd round last summer, and he has thanked for this honour by tallying 12 points in 15 games so far in SM-liiga. He will probably play with Markus Granlund and Joonas Donskoi in the second line, and his point totals from last year (2+1 in 6 GP) should rise.
Aleksander Barkov Only 16 years old Barkov has been the number one phenomenon in SM-liiga. He is now 4+3 in 12 GP and sees lots of power play time in the 2nd line of Tappara. He'll probably be the third line center in the WJC, but this kid is going to be great. Believe me.
Teuvo Teravainen 1994-born Jokerit forward has played in nearly two points-per-game pace in the Junior A league this season, and was promoted to the big club a few games ago. Two goals in five games is not bad for 17-year-old guy in men's league, and he has been projected to be a 1st round pick in many mock draft lists next year. He will probably be in the third line though in the WJC.
Alexander Ruuttu Coyotes' 2nd round pick from this summer hasn't been putting up numbers he was expected to in the SM-liiga, but as a 18-year-old he has time to do that. Probably the right wing of the third line alongside Barkov and Teravainen in the WJC.
Joonas Donskoi Fourth round pick of the Panthers from 2010 made his breakthrough last season in the SM-liiga scoring 27 points in 52 games for Karpat. He started this season struggling, but has now put up five points in last five games. He will probably play in the second line in the WJC, and it's not unrealistic at all that the point-per-game pace he played in last year's tournament will repeat.
Roope Hamalainen Hamalainen is fighting for a spot in the fourth line.
Joel Mustonen Mustonen has broken into the lineup of Skelleftea in Swedish Elitserien, and their coach has been praising him from the first game he played in the men's league. Could be a black horse in this year's team.
Mikael Kuronen Reliable defensive center for a third or fourth line gig.
Miro Aaltonen Espoo Blues' 18-year-old forward has put up big numbers everywhere he has played - except SM-liiga. He went undrafted last season, but 16 points in 7 games in the Junior A league and 5 points in 5 games in Mestis could bring him a late round pick next summer, if the pace continues.
Otto Paajanen Another lower-line player fighting for a spot in the playing lineup.
Markus Granlund "The worse Granlund" has played most of his season with the HIFK in SM-liiga, and has shown great talent tallying 5 points (1+4) in 14 games so far. He's not as good as his brother, but could well develop into a 2nd line playmaking center to the NHL. Will probably be the 2nd line center in Finnish team also.
*** Finnish hockey and fantasy hockey enthusiast
** Playing lots of NHL and SM-liiga fantasy leagues.
* Follow me in Twitter: @miikaarponen
14 teams dynasty keeper league
G, A, P, +/-, PIM, PPP, SHP, SOG, HIT, BLK / W, GAA, SV, SV%, SHO
C: Stamkos, Backstrom, E.Staal, J.Staal, Henrique
LW: Ovechkin, Datsyuk, Lupul, Lucic, Kunitz
RW: Malkin, Selanne, Read, C.Smith, Caron
D: Chara, Pitkanen, Kronwall, Timonen, Subban, Souray, Zidlicky
G: Luongo, Kiprusoff, Ward, Greiss
2009-10 5th, 2010-11 5th, 2011-12 1st
Last edited by Noma; 11-02-2011 at 05:22 PM.
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