Draft Prospect Profile: Jesperi Kotkaniemi

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    Eric Andrews

    Each day over the next month leading up to the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, held on June 22 in Dallas, we will be taking a look at the top 31 prospects avail
    [To continue reading full article, click here: Draft Prospect Profile: Jesperi Kotkaniemi]

    Matt Ross

    Thanks for the breakdown on this guy.  There’s been a lot of talk about him on HockeyBuzz’s Hawks page, but I didn’t really know anything about him.

    Really liking that he can be compared to a Ryan O’Reilly – because I like his game a lot.

    Would be cool to see the Hawks get a bigger Center that can play a similar game to ROR.


    There are teams like Detroit and Montreal (by either a trade down, or by simply staking a tent pole at slot three to fill a glaring need) who might take him before he could drop to the Blackhawks. Forget the mocks and understand we draft prognosticators only try and slot prospects, and don’t know the minds of the GMs and Scouts of the different organizations.

    Here is my take on this kid:

    Is he your future power winger or your big centre? He can be such high end puck hander, be a tank-like aggressive force with his work in the crease area, or he can defend away from the puck, or be so strong on the puck, teams might project him as that big wing every team is looking for. But surely when he was finally elevated to first line cntre in the U-18 Worlds, and he showed a high end potential , and did that now project him as a forceful, physical future NHL centre? The fact that he is very proficient in the face-off circle might have NHL scouting staffs figuring he should get ample chances to develop as a pivot. Strong on his skates in his possessions and very effective on the defensive side. Needs a step to get going and is straight line attacker, but is patient and sneaky with a good wrist shot, and the ability to gift-wrap pucks to teammates. The team that drafts him will be hopeful he continues to build leg strength and fill in fully. Lots to like about his vision and hockey smarts and upside.

    —Bill Placzek—

    Matthew Paulish

    Next 3 weeks should be busy for the Blackhawks

    Mister Ricochet

    Unless I missed it this is the first place I’ve read he’s under contract in Finland for 2 more yrs.  Nice work………. I wonder if an NHL team can buy that out in part to allow him out of his contract?  Is that legal in the NHL?

    Love this prospect and wonder if both Wahlstrom and he are available at 8 who they will draft?

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