An interview with 2017 draft eligible Robin Salo
18-year-old defenseman Robin Salo of Vaasan Sport is part of the strong group of Finnish D-men eligible to be drafted next summer in Chicago.
Salo is playing his first full season among grown-ups in Liiga, and is constantly logging over 20 minutes of ice time per game.
– I am happy I get to play this much, Salo said.
– Playing is the best way to develop. I’ve also got some points, which is good too. I could have some more goals though, it’s one part of my game that needs to be developed.
Salo has played 42 games this season and scored one goal and added 11 assists.
Goal-scoring is one thing to develop, but what about others. What were Salo’s main targets to get better at this season?
– Movement was the main thing I wanted to get better at, so that I could better keep on with the pace of pro game. I also need to get stronger.
Progress has already been made on this areas.
– I tried to get more muscle during the summer. Now that I’ve got to play a lot, I have also improved my skating. I’m heading for the direction, Salo says.
Salo was a strong candidate to suit up for Team Finland in the World Junior Championships. He was however the last D-man to be cut from the team.
– It was a bitter thing to hear of course. I felt like shit, when I was flying home from Canada. But it wasn’t that bad in the end, when the games there didn’t go very well. I wasn’t annoyed at all after those, Salo laughs.
Salo is eligible to be drafted next summer, and there has been quite a lot of scouts watching his team Sport playing this season – all because of Salo. Does he try to play better because of the scouts?
– I always try to play as good as possible obviously. But the draft year is always the draft year. It is always on your mind, even though you try not to think about it.
– I just try to play one game at a time good and get relied on more and more.
Scouts have already chatted with Salo too.
– There have been a few scouts interviewing me. It’s part of the job. And it’s good that they’re interested!
Salo has on numerous draft rankings during the year. His position has varied from 1st round all the way to third or fourth round. He himself doesn’t admit he follows the rankings.
– I haven’t paid much attention to those. There are so many of them, and you couldn’t know where you’re going based on them. They’re different from the actual draft, there’s not point reading them.
The best players of the draft are usually present at the draft to hear their names called. Salo hasn’t yet thought about a possible trip to Chicago.
– I haven’t thought about that yet. That decision will come after the end of the season.
The article has been published previously in Finnish at Kiekkoareena.