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C Aleksi Saarela - Lukko, Liiga (2015, 89th, NYR; 2016 trade, CAR)

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by Tormentor, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. Tormentor

    Tormentor Registered User

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    Eliteprospects profile

    He's a 97-born centre forward and in club competition he played against 96-born players. In 28 games he scored 103 points, 51 goals and 52 assists. He was the MVP and top scorer in his age group at the annual Pohjola camp, which gathers the top Finnish players.

    He played at the World Selects Invitational's in Prague this week with a Finnish team and was the top scorer of the tournament. In 9 games he scored 26 points, 13 goals and 13 assists.

    Some of the plays from that tournament:


    He's not the most dynamic or exciting player, but he's smart, has pretty nice puck skills and has an exceptional wrister for his age. He's also a good two-way player. If things work out, he might become a similar youth star as Toni Rajala, Teemu Pulkkinen and Mikael Granlund were few years ago. At least he’s worth keeping an eye on.
     
  2. FinHockey

    FinHockey Sex Metal Barbie

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    My god some of those junior leagues are just horrible. 103 points in 28 games? Lol.
     
  3. Grabovski

    Grabovski Skittles

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    He's rather small, but still looks bright.
     
  4. The Saw Is the Law

    The Saw Is the Law Registered User

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    Last one was shot between the legs?

    Those 103 points were in D-juniors? Hopefully continues same pace rest of his career :)
     
  5. FinProspects

    FinProspects Registered User

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    Saarela looks good, how does he compare to Julius Nättinen (97born player, who scored point per game in C-juniors last season). I´d expect that both guys receive some time in B next season.

    All in all, its good to hear that there are promising players coming out from Finland.
     
  6. Latex*

    Latex* Guest

    He's 97 born ---> has room to grow 20+ cm.

    But geez, some nice plays in that vid!

    Thank you again Tormentor.
     
  7. Eyelanders

    Eyelanders Registered User

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    I have heard a lot of good things about him. I don´t really see such a young guys like him playing, but if he´s going to play in B juniors next season, I´m maybe going to watch him playing. Sounds like a very interesting prospect.
     
  8. Tormentor

    Tormentor Registered User

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    Saarela is taller than Mikael Granlund and Toni Rajala were at that age, so it wouldn't be a surprise if he ends up being something like 5'11''.

    Yep.

    He's a D1 aged player, but played against C2 aged players with his club team. In addition he played two games in Jr.C SM-sarja with C1 aged players.

    At the moment Saarela's skills are more polished and he's simply more effective in the offensive zone. Nättinen is a lot bigger (probably pushing 6'2'' already) and has better tools for physical game.

    Aaro Löyttymäki is another 97-born big promising Finn who played at that Selects tournament. He played on the same line with Saarela and scored the first 7 goals on that video, his number is 12, white helmet and a rightie.

    Jr.C SM-sarja will probably be the level where they play next season. Rajala, Pulkkinen and Granlund scored over 3 points per game as underagers in Jr.C, Saarela might get close to that if he stays healthy and has a good season.
     
  9. hfboardsuser

    hfboardsuser Registered User

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    Here in Canada, 98-born forward Jaeger White scored 124 goals in 30 games.
     
  10. Jussi

    Jussi Registered User

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    He's the son of former Sm-liiga top goal scorer Pasi Saarela and from my home town Laitila. :D
     
  11. Latex*

    Latex* Guest

    :clap:


    You are almost a celebrity.
     
  12. Latex*

    Latex* Guest

    Bumpety bump!



    Here you can see both 97's mentioned in this thread, Aleksi Saarela (number 8#) and Aaro Löyttymäki (number 9#)play in Pohjola camp Final's 3rd period. (West coast v. 'keskimaa')
     
    Last edited by moderator : Jul 20, 2011
  13. fr9dd9

    fr9dd9 Registered User

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    This season?

    I can se on eliteprospects that he have 8 games played and have 28 points! but it have ben like that for couple of weeks now.. any uppdates anyone? about how hes playing and where hes at? soon to play for the jr. B?
     
  14. YARR123

    YARR123 Registered User

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    He will most likely play with the Jr. C team (he's an underager for that awell) but he could also easily play in jr. B since Lukko's Jr. B team is currently playing in division-1, which isn't a much better level of play. It probably depends on what his coaches think is best for his development.
    Right now his Jr.C (Qualifiers included) stats are 10. 14+18=32
     
  15. Jack DiBiase

    Jack DiBiase Team Iceland Coach

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    I don't think his size will become an issue. His father wasn't very tall (5'10", 179cm), but he was build like a brick wall, hence the nickname "Laitila Oat Giant". I would assume his kid would be the same when he grows up.

    BTW those stats from this season are from the C-junior championship qualification rounds, where even the top teams have to play against all the scrubs from the area, so the numbers are really inflated. Back when I played, we got beaten by Lukko about 20-2 in those games as well. Let's see how he performs when the real season starts, whether it's junior C or B.
     
  16. Jack DiBiase

    Jack DiBiase Team Iceland Coach

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    Underager on paper, but being -97 january 7th born, those older C junior guys are only a week from being his own age group. I don't think this level would be sufficient competition for him, but then again he is really young, so who's to say which is right or wrong at this point. I would assume the junior B (94 born) 1st division would be more competition for him, but I'm not really sure, because back when I played, there wasn't separate Junior B1 and B2, so back then the Junior B division 1 was pretty good. Maybe now it's different when the talented younger B juniors play in B2 SM, instead of B1 div-1. Also being currently coached by his daddy is almost never a good thing, although the Koivu brothers turned out "ok".


    EDIT: Alex Barkov jr. played in C-SM at the same age, and came up to SM-liiga in two years, so maybe that's good for Saarela as well.

    So weird seeing the kids of these players coming in to the league, who I grew up watching. Hell, I remember Pasi Saarela just being a young talent. :help:
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011
  17. Jussi

    Jussi Registered User

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    While I don't have inside knowledge on the exact coaching skills of "Pahi", I can almost guarantee he hasn't done much of the federation's coaching courses, though at C-junior level they might not be that important. He's not a full time coach because he works as a warehouse keeper at Laitilan Wirvoitusjuomatehdas (apparently a very stressful job). But one would think Aleksi could pick up some pointers on weight training from his dad.

    Edit: for what it's worth, here's an interview with Pasi about his coaching job: http://www.ur.fi/lankintakaa/jääpula_antaa_tasoitusta_porilaisille_3323940.html
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2011
  18. Beautiful stuff...
     
  19. Eyelanders

    Eyelanders Registered User

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    4 games in the Jr. C, with 5+5 points. Anyone has seen him playing recently?
     
  20. Ihmeilja

    Ihmeilja Registered User

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    I think it would be a surprise if ends up 5'11. More realistic would be 6'1. Guys who are 6'1-6'3, have been 175cm(5'9) at that age.
     
  21. wings5

    wings5 Registered User

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    Not everyone keeps growing at that rate, some are tall for age but slow down and peak at young age while their peers catch up and/or surpass them. Others are small at young ages but hit a spurt or keep on growing at constant rate till late teens. Apparently Malkin was same size as he is now at 13-14 while Semin was 5'11 at 18 and is now 6'2.
     
  22. Ihmeilja

    Ihmeilja Registered User

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    There are few guys, who've been 6'0 at 14 and end up being just 6'3, like Malkin, but normally tallest boys of that age are at Saarelas height and end up 6'1-6'2. At least in Finland.
     
  23. thomast

    thomast Registered User

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    Saarela 6 games 15 pts. He's listed as 5'10 165 lbs for a 14 year old kid last year he was 5'9 and 146 lbs. Very smart player with solid two-way game, elite shot. Bright future for sure at this point.
     
  24. Jack DiBiase

    Jack DiBiase Team Iceland Coach

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    Looks like he is toying with the competition, and making it too easy for him. A couple of games at Junior-A SM wouldn't hurt.
     
  25. thomast

    thomast Registered User

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    He is for the 2015 draft and is quite young. No need to rush him, but i agree that he's too good for Jr. C and even Jr. B but Jr. A is too much for him at this point. He could play Jr. A hockey at 2012-2013. Last year he was good enough for Jr. C but they didn't want to rush him.
     

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