- 2019-11-15 at HPK - Ässät, Liiga by Antti Wennström
One of the top Finns for the 2020 draft, Roni Hirvonen moved to Pori during the summer and has spent his season with the men’s team in Liiga. Hirvonen played a total of 11:19 against HPK, getting shifts as RW in the third line. Team’s penalties cut his ice time short as he didn’t get any SH shifts.
When playing, Hirvonen was impressive. His skating looks good overall, but what I liked the most, was his willingness to read to game and make himself available when not playing with the puck. Hirvonen has played center in the juniors, and you can somehow see it in the way he can concentrate on the positioning in both ends of the ice. He’s not big or very strong, and is less competitive when battling for the puck, yet he doesn’t shy away from them. He seems to pay attention to his stick position too, when without the puck, which improves his chances to play good hockey on both ends of the rink.
Hirvonen seems like a really promising talent for the 2020 draft – mostly because he seems like a modern player, whose “hockey brain” helps him overcome what he lacks in size, and a bit of top speed too. At the moment he is also a candidate for the Finland’s U20 team. In the November tournament Hirvonen played in the line of Aku and Aatu Räty. The trio scored all three Team Finland goals in the tournament.
- 2019-08-06 at Czech Republic - Finland, Hlinka Gretzky Cup 2019 by Lassi Alanen
Hirvonen scored a hat-trick in Finland’s 1-5 win over the Czech Republic. He was playing on the top line together with wingers Oliver Suni and Roby Järventie, and he was running the top power play unit from the right half wall.
Hirvonen scored his goals by being in the right places at the right times, which is not surprising for a player with his smarts. Hirvonen’s most notable ability continues to be his hockey sense. He made good defensive reads and helped his defenders in breaking the puck out of the zone. Hirvonen is an above-average skater with good mechanics and edge work, but for a small forward his speed doesn’t really stand out. His puck skills are good, but I wouldn’t call him a dynamic puck-handler. Instead, Hirvonen’s game is all about making smart and effective decisions, even when they are not flashy.
Hirvonen is expected to play in Liiga with Ässät next season, and it will be interesting to see how his skill set stacks up against men. He is small and struggles physically against bigger players, but at the same time, his instincts should allow him to already contribute offensively in the pro ranks.
- 2019-02-23 at Tappara - Blues, A-SM by Jokke Nevalainen
Hirvonen centered the top line, ran the top PP unit from the right half-wall, and was also used on the PK. All in all, he played over 20 minutes in the game his team won 4-3. Hirvonen scored a goal in the game but it was just a loose puck he found and managed to force it in.
Hirvonen played an impressive two-way game. He provided great support for his defenders down low. He also threw one really good hit. He showed good hands, fooling an opponent with a really nice deke. He also made one great pass which created a really good scoring chance.
- 2018-12-01 at JYP - Blues, U20 by Lassi Alanen
Hirvonen scored a goal and had one assist in Blues’ decisive 2-6 win over JYP. Hirvonen was centering Blues’ top line, this time without his usual linemate and Veeti Miettinen. Hirvonen was also featured on the first power play unit.
Even though Hirvonen did not have the puck as much as he usually does, the 5’9” center still managed to show his high-end skill and vision. Hirvonen is an intelligent player who reads the game constantly and is able to cover for his teammates if needed. He has a great pair of hands and wide array of different moves he can pull off in 1 on 1 situations. Hirvonen might not have blazing speed, but his skating mechanics are solid and he will most likely add more explosiveness as he develops physically.
On the power play, Hirvonen was positioned on the right side. He was constantly dangerous and the puck flowed constantly through his stick. Overall, Hirvonen has an excellent offensive skill set and is among the very best players in his age group.
- 2018-11-05 at Finland - Russia, WHC U17 by Lassi Alanen
Hirvonen got the opening goal and was named the player of the game for Finland in their second game of the World Hockey Challenge U17 tournament versus Russia. He was centering his team’s first line playing alongside Oliver Suni and Roby Järventie. The line was inarguably Finland’s best and the only one able to create long attacks regularly.
Hirvonen is an excellent playmaker with high-end vision and ability to find his teammates. He has quick feet and decent acceleration but ultimately relies on his hockey sense to make plays in transitions and in the offensive zone. Hirvonen has a small frame and physically he is still pretty underdeveloped, but his smarts and skill with the puck compensate well for his weaknesses. It should come as no surprise that he is also excellent at running the power play. The fact that Hirvonen was named Finland’s captain for this tournament is also an encouraging sign.
- 2018-10-27 at SaiPa - Blues, U20 by Asko Huuki
Hirvonen centered the first line of Blues and the whole line played really good game. They played really quick and efficient passing game with a lot of speed. The line did not succeed in 5-on-5 game, but Hirvonen got two secondary assists on power play.
Hirvonen skates really well. He is mobile, agile and he has pretty good acceleration. His top speed is also above average already. On top of that, Hirvonen showed a great positioning at the offensive zone making himself constantly available for passes. He also showcased his great skill many times making successful dekes many times during the game. His passing game is quick and his passes constantly succeeded.
At the moment despite being a center, Hirvonen seems to think offense first and his defensive game still requires a lot of refining. Also his size is obviously a concern. However his offensive skill set, hockey IQ and creativity combined with quick feet compensates his weaknesses really well and his assets makes him really interesting prospect.
- 2018-09-14 at Blues - KooKoo, U20 by Lassi Alanen
Hirvonen has been one of the most dangerous forwards in the Finnish U20 league for the past few weeks. After he posted one goal and two assists in this game against KooKoo, he currently has whopping 11 points in only six games. Hirvonen was centering Blues’ first line and had no issues at all playing in that role against older competition. Hirvonen has very good puck skills, fluid stride and excellent vision in the offensive zone. I would characterize him as a playmaker primarily, but he also has a fast and accurate release, which he used to get himself a goal in this game.
Hirvonen definitely needs to hone his defensive side of the game, but that is the case with almost every forward prospect. Overall, Hirvonen was very impressive and he looks like one of the better Finnish prospects eligible for the 2020 NHL draft.
- 2017-08-11 at HIFK - Blues, U18 by Marco Bombino
Hirvonen was a standout forward for Blues U18 in a 6-1 win over HIFK. The center has excellent stickhandling skills and puck control in traffic areas and tight spaces. He can receive passes off his skates with ease. He showed the ability to create space for himself in the offensive zone before firing a quick wrist shot. He’s a creative player and can make things happen offensively. He made a lot of smart decisions with the puck and finished the game with one goal.
A smooth skater with good acceleration, he didn’t have any trouble to keep up with the pace of the game. While he needs to add lots of more muscle, he has the smarts to already play a fairly strong and reliable defensive game at the U18 level. Hirvonen has the skills and hockey sense to be a high-end NHL prospect.
Player statistics powered by www.eliteprospects.com
|2014-2015||Finland Selects U13||WSI U13||9||2||1||3||4||||
|2015-2016||Finland Selects U14||WSI U14||9||3||5||8||4||||
|2016-2017||Blues U16||Jr. C SM-sarja Q||22||21||17||38||20||||
|Blues U16||Jr. C SM-sarja||18||7||13||20||35|||||Playoffs||3||0||0||0||0|
|2017-2018||Blues U16||Jr. C SM-sarja||0||0||0||0||0|||||Playoffs||2||1||1||2||0|
|Blues U18||Jr. B SM-sarja||39||11||27||38||22|||||Playoffs||2||0||0||0||0|
|Kiekko-Espoo U20||Jr. A SM-liiga||2||0||3||3||2||||
|Finland U16 (all)||International-Jr||11||3||8||11||4||||
|2018-2019||Kiekko-Espoo U20||Jr. A SM-liiga||50||21||34||55||34|||||Playoffs||11||3||12||15||16|
|Finland U17 (all)||International-Jr||13||4||3||7||16||||
|Finland U18 (all)||International-Jr||13||3||1||4||14||||
|Finland U18||Hlinka Gretzky Cup||3||4||1||5||4||||
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