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

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

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 away from the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. The Vancouver Canucks don’t have choose before the round that is third. While they get ready for the draft we’re assessing at the very top 10 leads into the system, starting today at No. 10 with Toni Utunen.

The Canucks have actually struck house runs into the round that is first the past few years, but a high 10 list means looking into significantly more than the players whom must allow it to be, once the most readily useful groups find players when you look at the sides associated with draft. Is Toni Utunen those types of dudes? With all the Canucks’ current blue line corps filled up with veterans, you can find likely areas in the future available when you look at 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 got maybe perhaps not scored at that price since. There’s a huge caveat here, though: Utunen kept going up age brackets, constantly having fun with the older young ones. 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 show 20. The year that is next switched professional, skating 11 times when it comes to senior Tappara squad into the Liiga (Finland’s elite league) and in addition being loaned away to LeKi when you look at the 2nd tier Mestis league for 28 games.

Utunen showed sufficient to draw the optical 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 maybe not likely to score against older players, you’re planning to need to be really proficient at stopping them if you’re likely to hang in there. 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 finished up their 2nd NHL season.)

That exact exact same season, Utunen became a frequent within the Tappara lineup, regardless if he didn’t play a lot that is whole.

During the 2020 World Juniors, he wore an ‘A’ when it comes to Finnish globe junior 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 mid period and whom forced Utunen down seriously to eighth in 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 looked to try out when it comes to Utica Comets in 2020 21, in place of another period with Tappara, in a schedule in which the COVID 19 pandemic does not take place. “But he’s attempting to concentrate on the future period, which begins a few weeks. He desires to become a far better player in the foreseeable future, so he could one play when you look at the NHL, that will be their fantasy. time”

Dobber Prospects’ Cam Robinson has watched lots of Utunen throughout the last 2 yrs and called the young Finn the “consummate protective defender.” Toni Utunen of Finland celebrates aided by the championship trophy after beating the usa 3 2 within the silver medal game for the 2019 globe junior hockey championship at Rogers Arena on Jan. 5, 2019. Deep Lam / Getty pictures files.The role he employs now could be one of many steady, be home more kind. He performs this by efficiently utilizing their stick and space control to thwart oncoming threats. Despite perhaps not being the biggest player available to you, he manoeuvres and angles well down low and that can manage the leading regarding the web also,” said Robinson. “You will periodically see him leap to the play and flash several of those previous (offensive) traits, but don’t ever expect it. He plays a safe and style that is efficient should provide itself well to North American pro hockey. Nonetheless it will additionally prohibit him from playing too much up any lineups.”

Finnish leads journalist Miika Arponen concurred in what works in Utunen’s game. Exact exact exact Same elements continue to be here that have been their skills as he had been drafted: their effortless skating, protective understanding while the no danger puck managing, but he hasn’t actually gone ahead in every aspect recently,” said Arponen. Having said that, Utunen’s reputation that is growing a Mr. dependable could express a

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