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

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

Vancouver prospect Toni Utunen is 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 a choose through to the round that is third. While they get ready for the draft we’re assessing towards the top 10 leads when you look at the system, starting today at No. 10 with Toni Utunen.

The Canucks have actually struck house runs when you look at the very first round in modern times, but a premier 10 list means looking into significantly more than the players who must allow it to be, given that most readily useful groups find players into the sides associated with the draft. Is Toni Utunen one particular guys? With all the Canucks’ current line that is blue full of veterans, you will find 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)

Being a 14 yr old, playing against player couple of years older, Toni Utunen ended up being almost a point per player. He’s got perhaps perhaps not scored at that price since. There’s a huge caveat here, 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 junior squad that is top. A few of their teammates were 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) as well as being loaned off to LeKi within the 2nd tier Mestis league for 28 games.

Utunen showed sufficient to draw the optical eyes for the 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 great at stopping them if you’re likely to hang in there. In the 2019 World Juniors, he played on Finland’s pairing that is first defensive alongside Henri Jokiharju, helping lead the Finns to gold. (The fancy Jokiharju just completed up their NHL season that is second.)

That exact exact same period, Utunen became a consistent within the Tappara lineup, even when he didn’t play a lot.

During the 2020 World Juniors, he wore an ‘A’ for the Finnish globe junior squad but again struggled to have much ice time for Tappara. In reality, their playing time diminished after he came back through the worlds ironically the defenceman Tappara acquired season that is mid whom pushed Utunen down seriously to eighth from the level chart ended up being former Canucks defenceman Adam Polasek.

“Of course, that could have already been a fascinating option,” 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 in which the COVID 19 pandemic does not take place. “But he could be wanting to concentrate on the future period, which begins week that is next


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