Canucks top leads: No offense, but Toni Utunen obviously a defender

Canucks top leads: No offense, but Toni Utunen obviously a defender

Vancouver possibility Toni Utunen is just a smooth skating Finnish defencemen whom does not set up numerous points

Finland defenceman Toni Utunen (left) leans on Sweden winger and fellow Vancouver Canucks possibility Nils Hoglander during the Finland Sweden bronze medal game at the 2020 globe juniors in Ostrava, Czech Republic, on Jan. 5, 2020. AP Photo/Petr David Josek.We’re fourteen days far from the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. The Vancouver Canucks don’t have choose before the 3rd round. While they plan the draft we’re assessing towards the top 10 leads into the system, starting today at No. 10 with Toni Utunen.

The Canucks have actually struck house runs cash1 loans fees within the round that is first modern times, but a high 10 list means looking into significantly more than the players whom must ensure it is, since the most readily useful teams find players into the sides for the draft. Is Toni Utunen one particular dudes? With all the Canucks’ current line that is blue filled up with veterans, you will find most most likely areas in the future open when you look at the next few periods. Let’s have a look at this smooth skating Finn.

TONI UTUNEN (#10 prospect)

Being a 14 old, playing against player two years older, Toni Utunen was nearly a point per game player year. He’s got maybe perhaps not scored at that rate since. There’s a caveat that is big, though: Utunen kept going up age brackets, always having fun with the older kids. At age 15, he skated for Tappara’s Under 18 group. Aged 16, he had been on Tappara’s junior squad that is top. A few of their teammates had been set to show 20. The the following year he turned professional, skating 11 times when it comes to senior Tappara squad within the Liiga (Finland’s elite league) and in addition being loaned off to LeKi into the 2nd tier Mestis league for 28 games.

Utunen showed adequate to draw the eyes associated with the Canucks. He’s never scored like he did as he first hit his teenagers, but it’s clear the skill that drove him towards the web then though has aided him refine their protective game. If you’re maybe not likely to score against older players, you’re planning to need to be very proficient at stopping them if you’re likely to hang in there. In the 2019 World Juniors, he played on Finland’s pairing that is first defensive alongside Henri Jokiharju, helping lead the Finns to silver. (The flashy Jokiharju just completed up their NHL season that is second.)

That same season, Utunen became an everyday within the Tappara lineup, whether or not he didn’t play a lot that is whole.

During the 2020 World Juniors, he wore an ‘A’ when it comes to world that is finnish squad but yet again struggled to obtain much ice time for Tappara. In reality, their playing time diminished after he came back through the globes ironically the defenceman Tappara found mid period and whom pressed Utunen down seriously to eighth from the level chart ended up being former Canucks defenceman Adam Polasek.

“Of course, that will have now been an option that is interesting” their representative Jarmo Kork stated via text message about whether he’d have actually checked to try out for the Utica Comets in 2020 21, in place of another period with Tappara, in a schedule where in fact the COVID 19 pandemic does not happen. “But he could be attempting to concentrate on the future period, which begins a few weeks. He desires to grow into a far better player as time goes on, so he could one play when you look at the NHL, which will be their dream. day”

Dobber Prospects’ Cam Robinson has watched plenty of Utunen during the last couple of years and called the young Finn the “consummate protective defender.” Toni Utunen of Finland celebrates utilizing the championship trophy after defeating the usa 3 2 when you look at the silver medal game associated with the 2019 globe hockey that is junior at Rogers Arena on Jan. 5, 2019. Deep Lam / Getty pictures files.The role he employs now’s among the constant, be home more type. He performs this by effortlessly making use of their stick and space control to thwart oncoming threats. Despite maybe perhaps maybe not being the biggest player on the market, he manoeuvres and angles well down low and may manage leading of this web also,” said Robinson. “You will sporadically see him leap to the play and flash several of those previous (offensive) traits, but don’t ever expect it. He plays a secure and style that is efficient should provide it self well to North American pro hockey. However it shall additionally prohibit him from playing too much up any lineups.”

Finnish leads author Miika Arponen concurred in what works in Utunen’s game. exact Same elements will always be here which were their strengths as he had been drafted: their effortless skating, protective understanding additionally the no danger puck managing, but he’sn’t actually gone ahead in virtually any aspect recently,” said Arponen. Having said that, Utunen’s growing reputation as a Mr. dependable could express a plateau, he warned.

“ He has got been offered a way to have a permanent just right Tappara’s defence but up to now he’sn’t had the opportunity to put up about it. And unfortuitously centered on pre season games it seems to be instance once more in 2010 as he’s projected to function as the 7th defenceman for Tappara once more.”

Utunen seems set to relax and play the year out when you look at the Liiga then might make a jump to the American Hockey League for 2021 22. He would have to signal an agreement first, needless to say. Include it all up as well as in a hypothetical future where he’s in a position to turn things up a notch, win the trust associated with coaches at Tappara this season, then soar greater again once he’s joined Utica the following year, placing himself on program for NHL consideration, it still seems Utunen’s higher end during the NHL degree will be being a sixth or defenceman that is seventh.

Leave a Comment