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  • September 2, 1995


  • 6' 2"


  • 205


  • Left



  • The youngest player (16) to ever score a point in the Finnish SM-liiga league. His father was a Spartak Russian hockey boy, who married a Finn. A patient player who is strong on the puck, and is confident he can hold on the biscuit while surveying options, and then surprise with excellent passes to the open attacker. Possesses tremendous hands and vision. He is working on his skating and speed, but has excellent balance and ability to handle the puck at his top speed. This is big centre, and in any other draft, there would be little question that he would be a top two selection, because even if he cannot fufill the promise of being a dominant first line centre, he WILL play centre in the NHL a be very good player. He is used on the PP point, and the half wall, and has a lot to do with the success of Artturi Lehkonen, who is getting lots of press as top prospect. In the Finnish pro league, he controls the tempo, and is tremendously strong when in control of the puck, and was the ninth leading scorer as a 17 year old. This man is the real deal, his short area quickness seals the deal that a GM shouldn't pass on him for another forward. He sustained a shoulder injury in the Finnish League for Tappara, and was lost for the rest of this year's playoff, but the injury will not affect is lofty draft status. This is a big two way centre that projects at very least as an NHL second line centre who embraces the role as big minute guy.

    --Bill Placzek--


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