Tukonen/Rita

Discussion in 'NHL Draft - Prospects' started by Blatny Spears, Jun 11, 2004.

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  1. Blatny Spears

    Blatny Spears Registered User

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    Is it just me, or are the scouting reports on Lauri Tukonen similar to the ones on Jani Rita from five years ago? Fast, physical, good sized, hardworking, good but not necessarily elite-level puck skill. Or am I looking for a connection between these two Finns that just isn't there? It seems Tukonen's stock just keeps rising - as high as third in some peoples' eyes.

    Based on what I've read of a lot of these players, it seems there are several other players I'd rather have (besides the obvious two) than Lauri "Don't Call Me Laurie" Tukonen.
     
  2. PhoPhan

    PhoPhan Registered User

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    They are similar in their strengths and weaknesses, but Tukonen is simply a better player. If I say my strength is my slapshot, does that make me as good as Al Macinnis?
     
  3. Blatny Spears

    Blatny Spears Registered User

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    Were you a fairly high first-round pick like Jani Rita? If not, then I'd say your analogy, while appreciated, doesn't hold very much water.
     
  4. Epsilon

    Epsilon #basta

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    You can do this sort of thing with practically every player in the draft. I will personally be surprised if Tukonen falls below #5.
     
  5. PhoPhan

    PhoPhan Registered User

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    I think you missed my point. You said that you thought they were similar players because they had similar strengths and weaknesses. I said that was a misleading idea, because while they may both be good skaters, good puckhandlers, good shooters, physical and hard working, Tukonen is as good a skater, a much better puckhandler, a better shooter, more physical and works as hard. To me, this means Tukonen is much better.
     
  6. Fleury14

    Fleury14 Remember the Kipper

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    Although I'm not a big fan of statistics in determining a prospect's worth, Tukonen has posted better stats at the SM-Liiga level and Jr. A SM-sarja level in his draft year than Rita did.
     
  7. ginner classic

    ginner classic Registered User

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    We all know that stats are a weak comparison and this draft, as much as it lacks depth, is still far better at the top end than '99 was when Rita was drafted. It sounds like Tukonen has a better range of skills than Rita who was known for his big slapshot, great speed and good size. I take tukonen personally, but Rita's speed at the time was pretty enticing....heck it still is...I have not stopped wishing we could pick him up and it is five years since he was drafted.
     
  8. Chased By Trolls

    Chased By Trolls Generational Talent

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    The way I see it, the biggest difference between these two guys is the way they see the ice. Tukonen IMO has way better vision when it comes to locating himself in a good position to score, it just seems to come very naturally to him. Rita's strengths are more on the physical side and working very hard trying to find a scoring chance. While Rita may have very good stickhandling skills and technique in general, Tukonen is still clearly ahead of him in this department, too. Nevertheless, I don't see Tukonen going higher than 7th to 10th on an average draft year.
     
  9. Seachd

    Seachd Registered User

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    He should go higher than that this year, and it's certainly not worse than average.
     
  10. Sammy*

    Sammy* Guest

    Apparently outside the top 2 (which are considered much better than the top 2 in an average draft year), I understand that it is.
     
  11. ZombieMatt

    ZombieMatt Registered User

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    There are some similarities in terms of style and such, but there are also lots of differences.

    Plus, from what I've heard, the complementary skills to Tukonen's strengths are also greater. However, if that's just typical HF boards over-rating 2004 prospects and under-rating ALL other prospects, or not, I don't know.

    However, you could look at the styles-strength of every player and say that because they have similar attributes to a previous bust they must be a disappointing player waiting to happen as well.
     
  12. Seachd

    Seachd Registered User

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    People just say that because of 2003. This isn't a weak draft; it's probably average at worst.
     
  13. MS

    MS 1%er

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    I think the biggest reason Rita has been a bust to this point is that his physical play has disappeared. Going into his draft, he was viewed as a power forward prospect - was a physical force at junior tourneys, put up pretty big PIM totals in the Finnish league, and was generally viewed as in initiator and a very aggressive player. At the time, the thinking was that even if his scoring touch didn't pan out, his grit and skating would allow him to at worst develop into a very solid 15-goal third line player. Seeing him in a few games with Edmonton last year and in the AHL this year, that aspect of his game has gone away completely - skates up and down the wing and is pretty much a non-contact player ... 18 PIM in each of the last 2 years. He suffered a ruptured spleen when he was still in Finland and I really wonder if that has caused him to shy away from giving/receiving substantial physical contact.

    Whether that's the case or not, something has definitely gone wrong with Rita along the way, and it seems to be more of a mental thing than any problem with his skillset - any player with his size, skating, the physical ability he used to show, and who can dominate a high-level tourney the way Rita did the 2001 WJCs shouldn't be able to flop the way Rita has. So I think that comparing the skills of Rita and Tukonen isn't really any sort of bust indicator whether they're similar or not since that isn't really Rita's main holdup to begin with.
     
  14. Chased By Trolls

    Chased By Trolls Generational Talent

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    Yeah, it looks like he might go higher. What I was trying to say though was that I don't think he's so good that he should go higher. Considering that he's been playing against men for the last three years, his physical play isn't that impressive. Furthermore, three goals and six points in 35 games isn't exactly a breakout season either. In his last season before being drafted, Tuomo Ruutu scored 11 goals and 22 points in 47 games, and was very good physically, too. Ruutu went 9th, and I don't think Tukonen should go that much higher.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2004
  15. Blue Bullet

    Blue Bullet Registered User

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    What if I told you that a Finnish player had one assist in his draft year in 21 games. Not exactly a breakout year. But he went 6th overall so Tukonen should definitely go higher (your logic not mine). If you didn't figure it out I'm talking about Mikko Koivu who went ahead of Ruutu in the same draft year.

    For future reference you cannot compare other draft years against one another. Tukonen is being ranked against the players in the 2004 draft not the 2001.

    As for how good the draft is: I've been following the last 5 years and I would say this draft ranks below 2003 and 2001 but ahead of 2000 and 2002. I think its a slightly above average draft year. You said in an average year he would go 7-10. Not true. In a good draft year like 2001 he would go in that range. In a great draft year like 2003 he may have still cracked the top 10. In average to below average years like 2000 and 2002 which both had very strong top 4's but little depth I think he would have went 5th overall.

    Looking back on it Ruutu should have been picked 3rd overall and that he will likely be a better player than Tukonen, however I'd take Tukonen over Koivu.
     
  16. IFK

    IFK Registered User

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    Ruutu was earlier produced to go 3rd his draft year, but his injury screwed that and Chicago make steal and pick him 9nd. I agree that Tukonen vs. Koivu comparison, i take Tukonen over Koivu too.
     
  17. Prucha73

    Prucha73 Guest

    Who played against men for the last 3 years?
     
  18. jepjepjoo

    jepjepjoo Registered User

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    I think he means Tukonen. He was a phenom as he turned 15 at the beginning of the 01-02 season and played in Mestis(2nd best men league in Finland) and posted incredible numbers 22GP 7G 4A 11P +2 6PIM. Also in his own age group in a crappy team he posted 4G 5A 9P in 5 games and when he played 2nd tier U21 league he posted 4G 0A in just 2 games. After that season he was thought as #1 pick for 2004

    This year he played 14 games in the highest U21 league and posted 14G 9A 23P (would have probably won the scoring title if he had played the whole year) and 35G 3G 3A 16PIM in SM-LIIGA(highest men league in Finland)
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2004
  19. Chased By Trolls

    Chased By Trolls Generational Talent

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    I did not say the only thing that determines how high someone should go is their points production. There are of course other factors that are more important. One would be potential, obviously. I mentioned Ruutu because I think he was a high class player with great potential(better than Tukonen) and some proven talent(better than Tukonen) and he went 9th, which is a lot lower than some people here are predicting Tukonen to go. While it is obviously a different year now with some very different players, I still think Tukonen should not go that much higher. IMO, people have started to overrate Tukonen lately. I personally think his progress has been slowing down for a while now.

    Koivu, by the way, went as high as he did partly because he's a Koivu.

    Like I said in my last post, what I was trying to say was that I don't think he should go higher than that. In other words, my personal opinion is that if you think he should go 5th in an average year, you are overrating him. He's not a good enough prospect IMO to go that high. I would not take him that high if I was making the decicions, because I don't think he's going to have as good a career as a 5th overall selection is expected to have on average. Clear enough?

    I think we can agree on that. How does the saying go again, hindsight is always 20/20..? In 2001, they thought he was the 9th best player..

    Yeah I mean Tukonen
     
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