Arponen – Scouting the 2016 NHL Draft – Four Finnish Forwards

Henrik Borgström – Scouting report

Bio:
Team: HIFK U20, Finland                                Draft status: 2016 eligible
Position: C

To date stats: 40 GP, 29 G, 26 A, 55 Pts, 20 PIMs
Shoots: L
Height/Weight: 6’3”, 170 lbs.

Characteristics:

Skating:

Borgström is a decent skater for a player his size. His top speed is not high-end, but his acceleration is good and he can blast past defenders using skilled pace changes. Grade: 55

Shooting:

Borgström’s release is quick and he can shoot the puck from difficult positions. His wrister is lot better than his slapshot. Grade: 55

Puck skills:

Borgström has smooth hands that allow him to control the puck at high speeds and/or in tight spaces. He has a wide arsenal of dekes and is good on 1-on-1s. Grade: 55

Smarts:

Borgström is one of those players that can control the tempo of the game solely by himself. He sees the ice very well and seems to always know where his linemates are. He is also good reading the game and can break opposition’s plays with his good reach.  Grade: 65

Physicality:

The physical game is Borgström’s biggest weakness. He is tall but not very strong and does not really get involved in physical battles. There is much room for improvement in this area. Grade: 35

General assessment:

Aside from the physical aspect, Borgström is a complete package. He is a constant threat for the defenders with his great vision and quick and accurate wrist shot. If he could add more muscle and learn how to use his large frame, he could be very well turn out to be a steal in the upcoming draft. He has committed to University of Denver for next season.

Overall Future Projection: 55.5

 

Janne Kuokkanen – Scouting report

Bio:
Team: Kärpät U20, Finland                                Draft status: 2016 eligible
Position: LW

To date stats: 47 GP, 22 G, 31 A, 53 Pts, 53 PIMs
Shoots: L
Height/Weight: 6’1”, 179 lbs.

Characteristics:

Skating:

Kuokkanen is an above-average skater with good speed. He has a smooth stride and can be very effective in tight spaces. Grade: 55

Shooting:

Kuokkanen has a decent wrister, but he could use it more. It isn’t the fastest shot among the draft class, but the release is quite quick and the shot is accurate. He often prefers to pass rather than shoot, though. His good hand-eye-coordination makes him good in deflecting pucks in the net from mid-air. Grade: 50

Puck skills:

Kuokkanen’s hands are one of his biggest assets. He uses his stick quite creatively and can do impressive dekes at high speeds. He can handle the puck well in tight spaces and does not need much time to control the play. Grade: 65

Smarts:

Kuokkanen’s hockey IQ is very high. He sees the ice extremely well and can be effective both with and without the puck. He seems to have great chemistry no matter who he plays with. He is also effective defensively using his exceptional positioning to break passes and read plays. He is also a good backchecker. Grade: 70

Physicality:

Physical play is Kuokkanen’s biggest downside. He is in not weak in any way, but he just does not get involved in board battles very much and would rather avoid contact if possible. Grade: 35

General assessment:

Kuokkanen is a very smart player that has an extremely good vision of the game. His lack of physicality prevents him from being a top-round pick, but there definitely is NHL potential hiding underneath.

Overall Future Projection: 56.5

 

 

Kasper Björkqvist – Scouting report

Bio:
Team: Blues U20, Finland                                Draft status: 2016 eligible
Position: LW

To date stats: 45 GP, 28 G, 38 A, 66 Pts, 32 PIMs
Shoots: L
Height/Weight: 6’1”, 198 lbs.

Characteristics:

Skating:

Björkqvist is a strong skater with good speed. He is not very agile or skilled skater, but it can’t be considered a weakness either. Grade: 55

Shooting:

Björkqvist has a decent shot that he likes to use often. He is especially strong near the crease and can shoot quickly from tight spaces. Grade: 50

Puck skills:

Björkqvist is not known to have very smooth hands, but he can handle the puck relatively well at high speeds. Grade: 45

Smarts:

Defensive plays and shorthanded situations are the ones where Björkqvist’s smarts really show. He is very good positionally playing PK and can often create turnovers and break passes. His offensive vision is actually quite good, although it is sometimes a bit underrated. Grade: 60

Physicality:

The physical game is Björkqvist’s bread and butter. He is strong and knows how to use his body. He can throw heavy hits and won’t turn away from contact. Grade: 65

General assessment:

Björkqvist went undrafted last year when he was first eligible, but it’s almost certain he hears his name called in 2016. He plays with a 110% attitude all the time and can provide everything a team needs from solid PK to offensive contributions.

Overall Future Projection: 53

 

 

Otto Koivula – Scouting report

Bio:
Team: Ilves U20, Finland                                Draft status: 2016 eligible
Position: LW/RW

To date stats: 49 GP, 26 G, 32 A, 58 Pts, 18 PIMs
Shoots: L
Height/Weight: 6’4”, 220 lbs.

Characteristics:

Skating:

Skating is Koivula’s biggest weakness. He is a bit clumsy at times and is not an agile skater in any way. He has a decent top speed but needs some time to get there. A lot of work ahead for Koivula regarding his skating. Grade: 35

Shooting:

Koivula can shoot the puck as good as nearly anyone. He has a quick release and can shoot the puck both from close range or near the boards. Grade: 60

Puck skills:

Koivula handles the puck well and can control it in tight situations. He can protect the puck well and likes to dangle too. Has a good reach and knows how to use it for his advantage. Grade: 55

Smarts:

Koivula’s hockey IQ is high and he sees the ice well. He makes consistently good decisions on whether to shoot, pass or drive to the net. Is also sound defensively and can be used on the penalty kill. Grade: 60

Physicality:

Koivula knows how to use his body. He rarely throws big hits but he likes to drive to the net protecting the puck with his strength. He does not back away from physical battles either. There is still a lot to improve in this category for a guy with his size. Grade: 55

General assessment:

Koivula has signed his first professional contract for next season and he will have a professional skating coach available in the summer. If he could get his skating to at least a decent level, he could be a dominant force in the game.

Overall Future Projection: 52

 

 

4 thoughts on “Arponen – Scouting the 2016 NHL Draft – Four Finnish Forwards

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