Drafted by Toronto Maple Leafs in 2019 #204
- 2019-04-18 at Canada - Finland, U18 World Championship by Lassi Alanen
Loponen was listed as the seventh defenceman in Finland’s tournament opener against Canada, but he was used a lot at even-strength and got some shifts on the penalty kill.
Loponen showed good mobility and overall skating ability. For the most part, he was able to keep up with the pace of the game and didn’t panic under pressure. Loponen delivered multiple good breakout passes and was once able to show his powerful slap shot. Defensively, Loponen isn’t afraid to take risks and play physical while defending against a rush, as he laid one big hit onto a bigger Canadian forward. His positional game is still a work in progress, though.
- 2019-02-01 at KeuPa HT - Hermes, Mestis by Lassi Alanen
Loponen was featured in Hermes’ top defensive pairing and played north of 25 minutes in their 3-4 loss against KeuPa HT. He got a primary helper on the opening goal of the game, as his shot from the point was redirected by his teammate.
Loponen kept his game simple for the most part throughout the entire game. He showed pretty good acceleration and also decent mobility. Loponen jumped on the rush a couple of times and clearly showed eagerness to help his forwards, but he didn’t end up getting much done offensively at even-strength. He does have a dangerous release in his arsenal and his slap shot is quite powerful. Loponen was featured on the top power-play unit and he made a few nice plays on the man advantage.
At 5-11, Loponen has a smallish frame, but he is already pretty bulky and did not shy away from physical play. He was rather aggressive at defending in the neutral zone and successfully pinched in at his opponent’s blue line multiple times. In his own end, Loponen was struggling quite a lot with keeping up with the play. He made multiple bad defensive reads and did not perform very well under pressure.
That being said, Loponen has put up very respectable numbers as a defenceman playing against men in the second-best Finnish pro league. He could get some consideration in the later rounds in the upcoming draft.
- 2018-11-03 at Kärpät - TPS, U20 by Asko Huuki
The performance of Loponen in this game was somewhat a mixed bag. He is very raw even for this level of play, but his offensive qualities are intriguing.
Loponen shows smooth skating and quick acceleration, but I thought his top speed still has some room for improvement as well as overall mobility. Loponen is an offensive-minded defenceman joining the rush often and his offensive abilities are pretty nice, but some of his passes were off in this game. His shot could also have some more punch, especially since the defender likes to shoot a lot.
At the own end I thought he could give some more pressure to the opponent as he gives them too much space. He also could move a lot more and he was causing a breakaway and penalty shot with slow read of play in a second period. However his positioning was sound for the most part and his first steps helped him react quickly in most occasions. His defending with the stick was also efficient.
- 2017-11-11 at U17 World Hockey Challenge by Miika Arponen
Loponen had a solid tournament in both ends of the ice. He showcased his skating multiple times in the tournament with good top speed, smooth turns and impressive lateral movement on the blueline. He is also very good with the puck and knows when to join the rush.
Due to his smallish stature, Loponen is sometimes in trouble with stronger opponents in front of the net. He is very good in defending with the stick, though, and his good gap control and skating are effective when defending rushes. His positioning is also sound.
Player statistics powered by www.eliteprospects.com
|2015-2016||Kärpät U16||Jr. C SM-sarja Q||10||3||1||4||6||||
|Kärpät U16||Jr. C SM-sarja||25||9||13||22||12|||||Playoffs||4||0||1||1||2|
|2016-2017||Kärpät U18||Jr. B SM-sarja||43||6||23||29||34|||||Playoffs||5||0||2||2||0|
|Finland U16 (all)||International-Jr||11||3||5||8||8||||
|2017-2018||Kärpät U18||Jr. B SM-sarja||40||13||24||37||38|||||Playoffs||5||1||1||2||2|
|Kärpät U20||Jr. A SM-liiga||6||3||0||3||2||||
|Finland U17 (all)||International-Jr||19||5||5||10||10||||
|2018-2019||Kärpät U18||Jr. B SM-sarja||2||0||4||4||2||||
|Kärpät U20||Jr. A SM-liiga||18||2||7||9||8||||
|Finland U18 (all)||International-Jr||25||3||15||18||28||||
|Finland U18||Hlinka Gretzky Cup||4||0||3||3||6||||
|Finland U20 (all)||International-Jr||2||0||0||0||0||||
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