For this month’s “Staff of the Month”, we are going to be using a look at players taking part in professional hockey and making an attempt to set themselves front and centre for the NHL draft in July.
This signifies we’ll be hunting abroad this thirty day period, using a look at some leading talent from Finland, Sweden, Czechia and Slovakia. Taking part in towards adult men frequently results in problems for 17 and 18-12 months-old gamers as they are normally muted on the scoresheet and then downgraded in draft circles for that.
In actuality, we need to be looking at their process and behaviors on the ice to undertaking these players due to the fact even being capable of actively playing towards males at that young age is an accomplishment in and of itself. So buckle up, let’s hoopla up for young children playing professional.
LW Liam Öhgren, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
Öhgren has seemed as relaxed as any participant at the pro-amount this 12 months amid draft eligibles. His offensive output at the SHL degree is not nearly anything to ride dwelling about but it’s his capacity to engage in up and down the lineup and give some electricity in the base-six. He normally takes wonderful paths all over the offensive zone, executing a fantastic work of protecting very good spacing with his linemates.
The younger Swede is a workmanlike player who not often fails to give an sincere work. He doesn’t always give the flash or aptitude that you see in today’s best prospects but he does a wonderful job of placing the puck in perilous positions. Regardless of whether that’s passing or skating the puck to the property plate space, Öhgren funnels the play to that area. Djurgården has been producing a ton of expertise not too long ago and Öhgren is another name to add to the checklist.
C Brad Lambert, JYP (Liiga)
It might be controversial to incorporate Lambert in below thinking of his abysmal stat line in the Liiga but as I’ve explained lots of situations, at times it’s not about the stat line. It’s about the method. We’ve noticed this lots of moments. The illustration that is in front of all of our faces proper now is Lucas Raymond. Inconsistent enjoying time, also fantastic for junior but not really great enough at the professional-stage, and a toolset that puts the upside on exhibit often. That’s what Raymond dealt with in his draft yr and Lambert is dealing with now in his. He’s driving the perform up ice, generating very good reads off the puck and when he is presented the chance, he is obtaining teammates in unsafe positions.
We obtained a short glimpse of what Lambert is able of at the Planet Juniors ahead of its cancelation. When I’ll be the initial to say that small sample tournaments are not a very good spot to foundation all of your evaluations on, it was a good peek at his possible. Lambert’s transition recreation is elite, with the means to get the puck from his close to the offensive zone without having substantially difficulty many thanks to his elite skating and puck skills. Lambert is a expert passer with the touch to locate seams via targeted visitors and hit his targets. He’s proven flashes of this at the Liiga amount, now let us hope that he can get some confidence from his quick U20 stint and seriously take his game a phase from pros.
RW Joakim Kemell, JYP (Liiga)
You know how I explained sometimes stats never subject when it comes to 17 and 18-calendar year-olds participating in pro hockey towards adult males? Yeah, they issue below. Kemell has skyrocketed up lots of draft boards many thanks to his unreal shooting expertise that has netted him 12 ambitions and 18 factors in 21 online games in the Liiga. He has function to do exterior of the offensive zone, but Kemell is showing indicators of getting a large-time scorer in the NHL.
As Kemell is not as proficient in transition or as a puck distributor, he is reasonably minimal as a real participate in driver, but he can be fairly the employed gun in an NHL major-6. He’s performed the job regularly in the Liiga, allowing his linemates to uncover him in fantastic places and the Kemell can use the gifts that he’s been graced with to uncover twine.
Scoring plans is tricky. Joakim Kemell is extremely very good at that difficult activity.
D Šimon Nemec, HK Nitra (Slovakia)
The youthful defender has previously mentioned-average equipment across the board and his largest flaw at instances is that he chooses to enjoy a little bit conservatively at moments. At the WJC, he was only in a position to get into two online games with Slovakia but he appeared rather superior in both. He was self-confident with and with no the puck, closing gaps, applying his skating to participate in audio positional hockey and then convert it up the ice. Nemec’s offensive tools are intriguing simply because he has the potential to do so a lot but frequently opts for the safe engage in. When he does determine to go for it though, he definitely goes for it. Attacking the slot in the offensive zone or driving down the wall to make a move to the net entrance, Nemec has a boatload of potential offensively if he can develop the killer intuition.
Nemec reads the oncoming rush properly, anticipating where by the perform is headed and reducing it off ahead of completion. The young Slovak blueliner has the intelligence to match his applications which signifies there could be an exceptionally valuable participant in Nemec. It’s not typically that you need to thrust the bravado out of a participant at this age but Nemec may perhaps be the exceptional scenario of that staying true.
D David Jiříček, Plzen (Czech)
This could be a single of the final situations that Jiříček is in a position to be highlighted this year due to the fact of the knee harm that he sustained at the World Juniors so he had to be provided here. Jiříček is an aggressive defenseman who will lay the physique at 1 conclusion of the ice and then make a excellent participate in to develop an offensive probability at the other stop. Compared with Nemec, Jiříček hardly ever has to have the fireplace lit underneath him. The Czech defender is not heading to shy absent from remaining the catalyst to make a participate in in any region of the ice. His aggression on protection has gotten him into trouble, getting suspended two times in the final few of seasons for perilous large hits.
Jiříček is keen to shut gaps and cut participate in off in advance of it gets began but he has a penchant for getting a little bit overaggressive which can make some misplays. He also has a inclination to be a bit also individual with the puck at occasions but he can get out of a whole lot of scenarios many thanks to his applications. Jiříček may need to have to reign himself in a little bit general but the talent and upside are pretty enticing for NHL teams. He should really be a higher puck in the 2022 draft, even with the knee personal injury anticipating to acquire him out for a few months.
G Topias Leinonen, KeuPa HT (Mestis)
Alright, I am cheating a tiny little bit in this article. There are not a lot of goalies who have performed professional hockey as a draft-eligible player are few and far in between. Leinonen has performed at the Liiga degree once this calendar year to very lousy benefits but he has also performed a game at the Mestis degree to pretty great final results. Leinonen has had superior quantities in junior hockey as nicely. The 6-foot-5 goaltender has the body NHL groups are wanting for to go with some good mobility in his crease.
Leinonen was just one of the top-rated goaltenders by NHL central scouting just lately. He has revealed enhanced mobility in his crease with a solid base positionally. His reflexes are fairly very good with lively arms and speedy ft when down in his butterfly. In a draft course that lacks a standout netminder, Leinonen has finished his most effective to stand out.