FinnProspects

Prospect ranking 6 / 2016-17

Published 2017-06-19

1. (▶) Miro Heiskanen

 
Position: defenceman
Shoots: Left
Born: 1999-07-18 / Espoo, Finland
Height 185 cm
Weight 79 kg
Team: HIFK

“Probably the best defenceman of the draft. Excellent skater played well in pro game even though he is still somewhat lightweight.” – Asko Huuki

“A very poised, swift-skating defenseman who contributes at both ends of the rink. Skilled passer with great puck skills, he is also very intelligent defensively. Heiskanen will have a long, successful career in the NHL.” – Marco Bombino

“An efficient puck-mover who contributes high level plays wherever on the ice. He’s aware of his surroundings all the time and doesn’t get caught out of his position defensively. His vision, skating and playmaking abilities puts him right on the top of this draft class.” – Markus Suhonen

“One of the most promising defenceman ever to come from Finland. A prototypical modern defenceman that doesn’t really have any weaknesses.” – Miika Arponen

2. (▶) Eeli Tolvanen

 
Position: left wing
Shoots: Left
Born: 1999-04-22 / Vihti, Finland
Height 179 cm
Weight 79 kg
Team: Jokerit

“A very effective volume shooter who relies on his speed and acceleration. He plays with high intensity and produces a lot of offence for his team. Also owns above-average passing abilities.” – Markus Suhonen

“Tolvanen’s ability to create scoring chances is top of this draft class. Shoots a ton, and with that caliber of a shot he also scores a ton.” – Miika Arponen

“A premier goal-scorer with an extremely quick release and great scoring touch around the net. Needs to improve his defensive game quite a bit, but his NHL upside is very high.” – Marco Bombino

“Still very raw but he has all the skill you would like to see from an offensive player.” – Asko Huuki

3. (1) Juuso Välimäki

 
Position: defenceman
Shoots: Left
Born: 1998-10-06 / Nokia, Finland
Height 188 cm
Weight 91 kg
Team: Tri-City Americans (WHL)

“An excellent two-way defenseman with good physical tools and mobility. Has the ability to distribute the puck effectively. Excels on the man advantage displaying great vision.” – Marco Bombino

“A two-way defenceman that played an impressive season. His defensive game is really solid for a player of his age and he can play effective offensive game.” – Asko Huuki

“Välimäki leads the blue-line with above-average puck skills, great vision and poise. He carries and moves the puck with strong confidence. He’s not afraid to use his wrist shot from the point.” – Markus Suhonen

 
Position: right wing
Shoots: Left
Born: 1999-06-01 / Helsinki, Finland
Height 192 cm
Weight 92 kg
Team: HPK

“A power forward with all the tools needed to become an elite force in the NHL. Obviously still needs to put it all together, but the potential is enormous.” – Miika Arponen

“After a disappointing season, his performance in the WJC-18 was encouraging. He has size and his work ethic is impressive but his decisions with the puck are somewhat concerning.” – Asko Huuki

“Vesalainen is not particularly an offensive dynamo but he possesses good hands and a big body. He is a combination of power forward and opportunistic way of thinking.”  – Markus Suhonen

5. (▶) Urho Vaakanainen

 
Position: defenceman
Shoots: Left
Born: 1999-01-01 / Joensuu, Finland
Height 186 cm
Weight 85 kg
Team: SaiPa

“A steady defender who builds his game on reliability. His skating is smooth and agile, and he passes the puck with precise timing. Vaakanainen has a bit of offensive potential.” – Markus Suhonen

“Vaakanainen needs to improve his offensive skills but his defensive game is already really solid. The defenceman is a potential first round draft pick.” – Asko Huuki

“Vaakanainen can break up plays with his stick and is very difficult to get around. A smooth skater with good overall mobility and defensive game. Pretty good shot and puck moving skills.” – Marco Bombino

6. (▶) Joni Ikonen

 
Position: center
Shoots: Right
Born: 1999-04-14 / Espoo, Finland
Height 182 cm
Weight 81 kg
Team: Frölunda (SHL)

“A very skilled centerman with high-end vision and nifty puck-handling skills. Can also shoot the puck and is not afraid of physical battle despite his smallish size.” – Miika Arponen

“Ikonen has gone a bit under radar this season, but he has gained some recognition closer to the draft. He is a speedy forward who busts opponents with his quick first steps. He battles and competes in every shift and produces scoring chances with success.” – Markus Suhonen

“I really like his offensive skill set – combines excellent playmaking abilities with a very good shot. Skating has improved during the past two seasons. Plays with high intensity, too, which no team will complain about.” – Marco Bombino

7. (1) Henri Jokiharju

 
Position: defenceman
Shoots: Right
Born: 1999-06-17 / Oulu, Finland
Height 182 cm
Weight 85 kg
Team: Portland Winterhawks (WHL)

“Jokiharju is a complete defenceman who joins and creates rushes with his spectacular skating. He is able to knock out opponents by using his speed and acceleration. He handles the puck with poise.” – Markus Suhonen

“Skating and high hockey IQ makes Jokiharju an intriguing prospect. He has a chance to be drafted in first round.” – Asko Huuki

“A poised offensive defenceman who can quarterback the power play as well as anyone. Also a very fast and skilled skater, Jokiharju compensates his lack of size with great positioning.” – Miika Arponen

8. (1) Robin Salo

 
Position: defenceman
Shoots: Left
Born: 1998-10-13 / Espoo, Finland
Height 186 cm
Weight 85 kg
Team: Sport

“To me Salo is the most underrated of Finnish prospects. The defenceman has been especially impressive at the own end where he has been extremely solid against grown-up men.” – Asko Huuki

“Salo continues the rise of Finnish defencemen. He compensates his below-average skating with great positioning and defensive awareness. He makes good and accurate passes in both neutral and offensive zone.” – Markus Suhonen

9. (1) Aleksi Heponiemi

 
Position: center
Shoots: Left
Born: 1999-09-01 / Tampere, Finland
Height 179 cm
Weight 63 kg
Team: Swift Current Broncos (WHL)

“An extremely skilled and crafty center, Heponiemi can make high-end plays with the puck. Highly productive on the power play. Must work on his shot power and add more muscle.” – Marco Bombino

“The lack of size probably prevents Heponiemi from being selected in the first round but his excellent offensive skills makes him worthy of look.” – Asko Huuki

“Heponiemi is one of the most skilled players in the entire draft. Quick hands and elite-level hockey IQ make him a potential steal of the draft.” – Miika Arponen

 

 
Position: goalie
Catches: Left
Born: 1999-03-09 / Espoo, Finland
Height 193 cm
Weight 89 kg
Team: HPK

“Luukkonen will probably be the highest drafted Finnish goalie since Ville Husso and the 2014 Entry Draft. He is a big goalie who controls his movement very well. Moves quick post-to-post and covers the angles with ease.” – Markus Suhonen

11. (3) Aarne Talvitie

 
Position: forward
Shoots: Left
Born: 1999-02-11 / Espoo
Height 180 cm
Weight 85 kg
Team: Blues

“A strong skater, Talvitie displays good awareness without the puck and plays a solid physical game. Got consistently better offensively during the past season. Has a quick wrist shot and can finish off his chances.” – Marco Bombino

12. (3) Santeri Virtanen

 
Position: forward
Shoots: Left
Born: 1999-05-11 / Kirkkonummi
Height 188 cm
Weight 88 kg
Team: Dubuque Fighting Saints (USHL)

“A big and strong power forward. Virtanen has good work ethic and can skate well for a player of his size. Reliable on shorthanded and defensive situations as well.” – Miika Arponen

13. (▶) Linus Nyman

 
Position: forward
Shoots: Left
Born: 1999-07-11 / Helsinki, Finland
Height 175 cm
Weight 65 kg
Team: Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)

“An agile, smooth skater with impressive puck skills. Nyman distributes the puck with timely, clever passes and does a good job of getting into scoring positions in the offensive zone. Needs to get physically stronger to succeed at the next level, however.” – Marco Bombino

14. (RE) Eemeli Räsänen

 
Position: defenceman
Shoots: Right
Born: 1999-03-06 / Joensuu
Height 199 cm
Weight 93 kg
Team: Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)

“Has improved his game a lot in a short period of time after moving to the OHL. Has a very strong physical presence, tough to play against. Agility, footwork and speed require plenty of work, though. A raw prospect but has some two-way potential given his strong offensive production and physical attributes.” – Marco Bombino

 
Position: defenceman
Shoots: Left
Born: 1998-11-16 / Helsinki, Finland
Height 189 cm
Weight 86 kg
Team: Boston University (NCAA)

“A mobile defenceman with solid defensive capabilities. He skates well, has good gap control and can be physical when needed. He sees the ice well and has some offensive potential as well.” – Miika Arponen

“A consistent, defensively reliable blueliner with solid gap control and positioning. Gets around the ice well. Fairly mobile. Processes the game well with the puck, has more offensive upside than his numbers with Sioux Falls suggest.” – Marco Bombino

16. (4) Otto Latvala

 
Position: defenceman
Shoots: Right
Born: 1999-07-14 / Alajärvi, Finland
Height 195 cm
Weight 86 kg
Team: HPK

“I like him despite his relatively slow skating. He has enough size, grit and defensive awareness for mid-to-late round pick.” – Asko Huuki

17. (NEW) Eetu Luostarinen

 
Position: center
Shoots: Left
Born: 1998-09-02 /
Height 189 cm
Weight 81 kg
Team: KalPa

“An overager for this year’s draft, but could get picked surprisingly high. Solid all-round forward with size and decent skillset.” – Miika Arponen

18. (RE) Sami Moilanen

 
Position: right wing
Shoots: Left
Born: 1999-01-22 / Sipoo, Finland
Height 175 cm
Weight 79 kg
Team: Seattle Thunderbirds (WHL)

“Moilanen had great playoffs for Seattle. He is an excellent skater with quick first few strides and terrific agility. A gritty, versatile player. Has some offensive upside, smart around the net, creates havoc with his speed.” – Marco Bombino

19. (8) Emil Oksanen

 
Position: left wing
Shoots: Right
Born: 1998-09-25 / Kirkkonummi, Finland
Height 185 cm
Weight 82 kg
Team: Regina Pats (WHL)

“An offensive-minded winger with an excellent, quick wrist shot and a lot of puck skill. However, he isn’t particularly quick or physical at this point in time. Defensive game is also a work in progress.” – Marco Bombino

20. (NEW) Emil Larmi

 
Position: goalie
Catches: Left
Born: 1996-09-28 / Lahti
Height 182 cm
Weight 84 kg
Team: HPK

“Larmi played a good season as a starting goalie for a Liiga playoffs team. Larmi is a technically solid and consistent goalie.” – Miika Arponen