Canucks Top 10 leads: No offense, but Toni Utunen plainly a defender

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Canucks Top 10 leads: No offense, but Toni Utunen plainly a defender

Canucks Top 10 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 3rd round. While they get ready for the draft we’re assessing at the very top 10 leads within the system, starting today at No. 10 with Toni Utunen.

The Canucks have actually struck house runs within the very first round in modern times, but a high 10 list means looking at significantly more than the players whom must ensure it is, whilst the most readily useful groups find players into the sides of this draft. Is Toni Utunen one particular dudes? With all the Canucks’ current blue line corps full of veterans, you can find likely areas in the future open into the next few periods. Let’s take a good 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 maybe perhaps not scored at that price since. There’s a large caveat there, though: Utunen kept going within the 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. Several of their teammates had been set to make 20. The year that is next switched expert, 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 when you look at the 2nd tier Mestis league for 28 games.

Utunen showed adequate to draw the eyes associated with Canucks. He’s never scored towards the net in those days has helped him refine his defensive game like he did when he first hit his teens, but it’s clear the talent that drove him. If you’re perhaps not likely to score against older players, you’re planning to need to be extremely proficient at stopping them if you’re likely cashland loans reviews to hang in there. During the 2019 World Juniors, he played on Finland’s first defensive pairing, alongside Henri Jokiharju, helping lead the Finns to silver. (The fancy Jokiharju just completed up their second NHL season.)

That exact same period, Utunen became an everyday when you look at the Tappara lineup, just because he didn’t play a great deal.

In the 2020 World Juniors, he wore an ‘A’ when it comes to Finnish globe junior squad but yet again struggled getting much ice time for Tappara. In reality, their playing time diminished after he came back through the globes ironically the defenceman Tappara acquired 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 already been an option that is interesting” their agent Jarmo Kork stated via text message about whether he’d have actually checked to play for the Utica Comets in 2020 21, in the place of another period with Tappara, in a schedule where in fact the COVID 19 pandemic does not take place. “But he could be attempting to concentrate on the future period, which begins week that is next. He really wants to grow into a significantly better player later on, so he could one play within the NHL, which can be their fantasy. day”

Dobber Prospects’ Cam Robinson has watched plenty of Utunen over the past couple of years and called the young Finn the “consummate protective defender.” Toni Utunen of Finland celebrates because of the championship trophy after beating the usa 3 2 within the silver medal game associated with 2019 globe hockey that is junior at Rogers Arena on Jan. 5, 2019. Deep Lam / Getty graphics files.The role he employs now could be one of several constant, be home more kind. He performs this by efficiently utilizing their stick and space control to thwart oncoming threats. Despite maybe perhaps not being the player that is largest nowadays, he manoeuvres and angles well down low and certainly will manage the leading for the web too,” said Robinson. “You will sometimes 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. However it shall additionally prohibit him from playing way too high up any lineups.”

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

“ He has been offered a way to have a permanent just right Tappara’s defence but to date he hasn’t had the opportunity to keep into it. And unfortuitously considering pre period games it appears become instance once again this current year as he’s projected to end up being the defenceman that is seventh Tappara once again.”

Utunen appears set to relax and play out of the 12 months when you look at the Liiga after which might make a jump to your United states Hockey League for 2021 22. He would 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 coaches at Tappara this year, then soar greater again once he’s joined Utica the following year, placing himself on program for NHL consideration, it still appears Utunen’s first class during the NHL degree will be being a sixth or 7th defenceman.

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