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Showing posts with the label world juniors

Fabian Lysell Likely to Start 2022-23 Season in Providence

Fabian Lysell is currently the top-rated prospect within the Boston Bruins organization. The Bruins, 21st overall selection, during the 2021 NHL Draft, left Sweden to play for the Vancouver Giants last season. With the Giants, Lysell showed similar play and talent to his time playing for Frolunda's J20 and J18 teams. With Vancouver of the WHL, Lysell put up 62 points in 53 games. Lysell played with pace for the Giants, he showed great speed and edge work. Lysell is a player that can be leithal on the rush, pushing the defencemen back and setting up a play for his teammates. Lysell is a player that plays with a lot of confidence, he is a competitor, that shows attitude and fight. The Bruins forward was one of the most dynamic players representing Team Sweden at the WJC. Team Sweden struggled to create offense, although Lysell finished the tournament with a bronze medal, and six points in seven games. With Team Sweden, Lysell smoothly transitioned out of his own zone and often skated

All About Habs' Underrated Prospect: Oliver Kapanen

When thinking about top prospects in the Montreal Canadiens organization, Oliver Kapanen isn't a name you normally hear. However, Kapanen is a prospect that will likely make an impact at the NHL level. Who is Oliver Kapanen? Oliver is the nephew of former NHL veteran Sami Kapanen and is the cousin of Kasperi Kapanen. Oliver plays a defensive-minded game and is a player that has recognizable skills offensively.   The Montreal Canadiens originally drafted the Finnish forward during the 2021 NHL Draft. The Habs used the 64th overall selection in the second round to select Kapanen.  Kapanen is a player that can play a big role on any team. He is a defensively minded forward who plays well in his own zone. He is reliable at the faceoff dot and is a penalty kill specialist. For example, while playing for Team Finland at the 2022 IIHF WJC, he led Finnish forwards in ice-time on the PK. "Kapanen’s game is all about off-puck instincts and good scoring touch in tight places", EP

The Underrated Drafting by the Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been serious Stanley Cup contenders for the last few years. Being contenders comes with the price of not having high-end draft picks. However, the Leafs have done a good job of drafting prospects in the latter rounds of the draft. Roni Hirvonen:   Hirvonen is a player that was selected 59th overall by the Maple Leafs during the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. Hirvonen is regarded as a high-end prospect that has excelled at every junior level he has played at.   Most recently, the forward represented Team Finland at the 2022 IIHF WJC, where he was named captain. The Leafs prospect played on the Finnish top line and recorded seven points in seven games. Hirvonen is currently playing for HIFK Helsinki of the Finnish Liiga, although he is under contract with the Maple Leafs. Last season with the Finnish squad, Hirvonen put up a solid 26 points in 46 games.   The 59th overall pick is regarded as a high-end playmaker. He finds the seams to set up his teammates. He i

Kasper Puutio SHINED at the 2022 IIHF World Juniors

Kasper Puutio may not be known as the most elite hockey prospect, but his game at the 2022 IIHF WJC showed otherwise. Puutio is a native of Vaasa, Finland and currently plays for KalPa in the Finnish Liiga. His NHL rights are owned by the Florida Panthers.  Puutio was selected by the Panthers during the 2020 NHL Entry Draft in the fifth round, 153rd overall. He is a right-handed shooting defenseman with decent size, standing at six feet and weighing 185 pounds.   Puutio is a player that plays with a lot of emotion. He is a leader for the Finnish Junior Team. He was named assistant captain during the 2022 IIHF WJC Tournament. The Finnish defender ended the tournament by capturing a silver medal with his home country. He played a big role offensively and defensively. Puutio ended the tournament with four goals and three assists in seven games. He was also named the Best Defenseman of the Tournament.   Puutio played a big role in a good Finland squad. Puutio played regular minutes wi

Toronto's Top Defensive Prospect: Topi Niemela

Topi Niemela. What comes to mind when you hear his name? Niemela, is a star player playing for Karpat of the SM-Liiga in Finland. The Maple Leafs acquired Niemela during the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, he was selected 64th overall. Niemela is a two-way defenceman that has played in the top leagues throughout the Finnish junior and pro system. Niemela's name really broke out at the 2020-21 IIHF World Junior Classic. The Finnish defender was second on his team in points with eight and was a named Defenceman of the Tournament. He and Team Finland ended up taking home a bronze medal. This past season, Niemela, spent the entire season with Karpat playing at the professional level. Niemela was the top d-man on his team, as just a 20-year-old. Remember the Liiga is a top professional league, he is playing against competition much older and mature then his age.  Niemela played in 48 games, scoring ten goals and assisting 22 plays. He was also invited back to the WJC and wore the "A", f

Previewing the 2022 IIHF WJC Gold Medal Game - Finland vs Canada

It all comes down to this, the most prolific game of a hockey player's junior career. Who will take home the gold medal?   Team Finland comes into the game looking for a bounceback effort. They were defeated by Canada during the preliminary round, 6-3. Team Canada cruised through the preliminary round and will have their biggest test of the tournament today. Keys to Success: For Finland, they need to establish an early lead. Finland's top line of Aatu Raty, Joakim Kemell, and Roni Hirvonen have been carrying the load offensively. With an early lead, Finland's defensive strengths and shut a game down, like they did against Team Sweden yesterday. Finland defeated Sweden, 1-0, and limited the Swedes to just 23 shots.   Canada will need to break down Finland's defensive core once again, like they did in the preliminary round. Canada's offensive core is made up of highly skilled players that pounce on mistakes. Finland's game revolves around possession. If Canada

Aleksi Heimosalmi Has Been a Force for Team Finland

Aleksi Heimosalmi may not be the name that comes to mind when you think about top defencemen on Team Finland's roster. Your mind tends to wander to Topi Niemela, Kasper Puutio or even Eemil Viro. But Heimosalmi's play so far at the World Junior Classic proves different. Heimosalmi is tied for first in points by a Finnish d-man with Kasper Puutio. He currently has six assists, or six points in five games, also maintaining a rating of positive four. Aleksi Heimosalmi 0+1 Koko kisojen saldo: 4 ottelua 0+4 #Ässät #Liiga https://t.co/xyJ42E46ix — Porin Ässät (@PorinAssat) August 16, 2022   Heimosalmi started the 2022 IIHF World Juniors as the seventh defenceman in the Finland lineup. The Fin has since been moved up to the second pair, alongside Detroit Red Wings' pick Eemil Viro, and also commands the second unit power play   We can see a contrast in Heimosalmi's ice time throughout the tournament. He started the preliminary round averaging 15 minutes per game and ended t

Fabian Lysell Dominates World Juniors Group Stage

Boston's Fabian Lysell was dominant throughout the group stage of the 2022 IIHF World Juniors Tournament. Lysell, from Gothenburg, Sweden, was selected 21st overall by the Boston Bruins during the 2021 NHL Draft. Lysell has proven to be at control at every single junior level. So it is not a surprise that he is dominating the WJC. This season, playing with the Vancouver Giants of the WHL, Lysell put up a team high of 62 points in 53 games. He also produced tremendously in the playoffs, putting up 21 points in just 12 games. The Bruins' pick is playing a top offensive role for Team Sweden. Lysell is playing within the top-six and on the top power play unit for Sweden. It is also to be noted that Team Sweden is very stacked offensively. Lysell plays alongside the 14th overall selection, Isak Rosen.   Lysell has shown his ability to make plays with the puck. He sets up on his one-timer side on the powerplay and utilizes both his shooting and playmaking skills. that is an absolu

A Peek into the Secrets of Aleksi Heimosalmi + Interview

Aleksi Heimosalmi is a Finnish-born defenceman, currently playing on loan for his hometown team Ässät in the Finnish Liiga. Heimosalmi's National Hockey League rights are owned by the Carolina Hurricanes. The team that selected him in the second round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, 44th overall. The Hurricanes have also inked Heimosalmi to a three-year entry-level contract this past season, before being loaned out to Finland. Heimosalmi has always been a staple in the Finnish hockey system. The right-handed D-man has played in all of the top tournaments and leagues around the country. For example, he played in the U16, U17, U18, and World Juniors tournaments for his country.   One of Heimosalmi's biggest hockey performances has to be his play at the U18's in Texas. The Pori, Finland native scored two goals and had six assists in just seven games. He led the entire tournament in points by a d-man while being named the tournament's best defenceman and a top-3 player on hi

2022 IIHF WJC Notes: August 12 - Brad Lambert, Mason McTavish, etc.

The IIHF World Juniors is under flight. Here are some of the top analytics and notes so far from the played games: Brad Lambert : Lambert is an elite skater and puck handler. He flashes around with his edge work. He is a key player on odd-man rushes and one-on-one. Lambert makes his teammates better while also displaying a lethal shot in junior. But what is holding Brad Lambert back from becoming a superstar? Give and GOAL! Brad Lambert makes it 3-0 for @leijonat just 1:58 into the 2nd. #WorldJuniors #LATFIN @NHLJets pic.twitter.com/utJ8Olkf69   — IIHF (@IIHFHockey) August 9, 2022 Lambert is a perimeter player. He is often rushing around the ice and making laps around the offensive zone. Lambert moves around the outside of the offensive zone, looking to set up teammates in and around the goal. He is a very predictable player. Lambert currently has a goal in two games. Mason McTavish and Team Canada : Team Canada is always a candidate to win the IIHF WJC. Team Canada absolutely domi