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

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3 décembre 2020
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3 décembre 2020

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

Canucks top leads: No offense, but Toni Utunen plainly 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 medal that is bronze 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 third round. Because they get ready for the draft we’re assessing at the very top 10 prospects into the system, starting today at No. 10 with Toni Utunen.

The Canucks have actually struck house runs when you look at the round that is first the past few years, but a premier 10 list means looking into significantly more than the players whom must ensure it is, given that most useful groups find players within the sides of this draft. Is Toni Utunen one particular dudes? With the Canucks’ current line that is blue full of veterans, there are most most likely areas in the future available into the next few seasons. Let’s have a look at this smooth skating Finn.

TONI UTUNEN (#10 possibility)

As a 14 old, playing against player two years older, Toni Utunen was nearly a point per game player year. He has got maybe maybe not scored at that price since. There’s a caveat that is big, though: Utunen kept moving up age brackets, constantly having fun with the older children. At age 15, he skated for Tappara’s Under 18 group. Aged 16, he had been on Tappara’s top junior squad. A few of their teammates had been set to show 20. The year that is next switched expert, skating 11 times for the senior Tappara squad within the Liiga (Finland’s elite league) as well as being loaned away 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 their teenagers, however it’s clear the skill that drove him towards the internet in those times has aided him refine his protective game. If you’re maybe not planning to score against older players, you’re planning to need to be extremely proficient at stopping them if you’re likely to stay. During the 2019 World Juniors, he played on Finland’s pairing that is first defensive alongside Henri Jokiharju, helping lead the Finns to silver. (The fancy Jokiharju just completed up his NHL season that is second.)

That exact same period, Utunen became a normal into the Tappara lineup, regardless if he didn’t play a lot that is whole.

During the 2020 World Juniors, he wore an ‘A’ for the world that is finnish squad but once more 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 acquired season that is mid whom pressed Utunen down seriously to eighth in the level chart ended up being former Canucks defenceman Adam Polasek.

“Of course, that could are an option that is interesting” their representative Jarmo Kork stated via text message about whether he’d have checked to try out when it comes to Utica Comets in 2020 21, in place of another period with Tappara, in a schedule where in actuality the COVID 19 pandemic doesn’t happen. “But he could be wanting to concentrate on the future season, which begins week that is next. He would like to grow into a far better player as time goes by, so he could one time play into the NHL, which will be their dream.”

Dobber Prospects’ Cam Robinson has watched lots of Utunen during the last 2 yrs and called the young Finn the “consummate protective defender.” Toni Utunen of Finland celebrates utilizing the championship trophy after beating the usa 3 2 into the silver medal game regarding the 2019 world 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 kind. He performs this by effortlessly making use of their stick and space control to thwart threats that are oncoming. Despite perhaps maybe not being the player that is largest on the market, he manoeuvres and angles well down low and may manage the leading of this web too,” said Robinson. “You will periodically see him leap in to the play and flash several of those previous (offensive) faculties, but don’t ever expect it. He plays a safe and efficient design that should provide it self well to North American pro hockey. Nonetheless it will additionally prohibit him from playing too much up any lineups.”

Finnish leads author Miika Arponen concurred about what works in Utunen’s game. Exact exact exact Same elements continue to be here that have been their talents when he had been drafted: their effortless skating, protective understanding additionally the no danger puck handling, but he’sn’t actually gone ahead in almost any aspect recently,” said Arponen. Having said that, Utunen’s reputation that is growing a Mr. dependable could express a plateau, he warned.

“ He has got been offered a way to simply take a permanent just right Tappara’s defence but up to now he’sn’t had the oppertunity to put up about it. And regrettably centered on pre period games it seems become situation once more this present year as he could be projected to function as 7th defenceman for Tappara once more.”

Utunen appears set to relax and play out of the 12 months when you look at the Liiga after which will make a jump into the United states Hockey League for 2021 22. He will have to signal an agreement first, needless to say. Include it all up plus in a hypothetical future where he’s in a position to turn things up a notch, win the trust associated with the coaches at Tappara this year, then soar greater again once he’s joined Utica the following year, putting himself on program for NHL consideration, it still appears Utunen’s upper end during the NHL degree could be as a sixth or defenceman that is seventh.

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