- 2019-08-08 at Ilves - Pelicans, U20 Pre-Season by Lassi Alanen
Rajaniemi was playing on the top pairing in Pelicans’ 8-4 pre-season loss against Ilves. The 6-foot-3 blueliner was used in every situation. He scored a goal in the first period with a powerful wrister and added an assist later in the game.
Despite being involved in half of Pelicans’ goals, Rajaniemi isn’t much of an offensive force. Instead, he plays reliably in his own end, competing well for pucks and disrupting rushes utilizing his frame and long reach. Rajaniemi prefers to keep his game very simple and the puck rarely stays on his stick for many seconds. He uses easy passing options on the breakout and doesn’t really carry the puck out himself. In the offensive zone and on the power play, Rajaniemi makes simple passes and can utilize a heavy shot from time to time. Sometimes he could react faster in his own end, but he is often positioned correctly and rarely gets beaten off the rush despite not being the most mobile skater.
Rajaniemi’s physical maturity allowed him to play on the third-pairing with the U20 team last year, and it looks like he’ll have a much bigger role this upcoming season. He can surely log big minutes, but I have my reservations on his upside.
- 2018-09-09 at Blues - Pelicans U18 by Marco Bombino
Rajaniemi recorded a secondary assist and played on Pelicans U18 third pairing in a 6-3 win over Blues. The big and rangy defenseman was stable throughout the game. He moved quite well in all directions and showed good coordination. He had a long reach and used his stick well to be disruptive defensively. He displayed good awareness in his own end.
Offensively, Rajaniemi played a simple game without much flash. At this point in time, his puck skills are fairly good, though he doesn’t have the fastest hands. Going forward, he could work on his stickhandling in tight spaces. While Rajaniemi is a bit raw right now, he’s strong, fairly mobile and defensively reliable and those attributes make him an intriguing prospect.
Player statistics powered by www.eliteprospects.com
|2016-2017||Pelicans U16||Jr. C SM-sarja Q||6||0||3||3||2||||
|Pelicans U16||Jr. C SM-sarja||17||1||5||6||6|||||Playoffs||2||0||1||1||0|
|2017-2018||Pelicans U16||Jr. C SM-sarja||4||0||1||1||4|||||Playoffs||5||0||3||3||6|
|Pelicans U18||Jr. B SM-sarja||28||1||5||6||2||||
|Finland U16 (all)||International-Jr||8||3||1||4||0||||
|2018-2019||Pelicans U18||Jr. B SM-sarja||13||2||2||4||6|||||Playoffs||1||0||0||0||0|
|Pelicans U20||Jr. A SM-liiga||34||2||3||5||16|||||Playoffs||8||0||1||1||2|
|Finland U17 (all)||International-Jr||5||0||0||0||0||||
|2019-2020||Pelicans U20||Jr. A SM-liiga||16||1||5||6||8||||
Player statistics © www.eliteprospects.com