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

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

Vancouver possibility Toni Utunen is really 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 world 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 through to the round that is third. While they plan the draft we’re assessing towards the 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 allow it to be, once the most useful groups find players within the sides associated with draft. Is Toni Utunen some of those dudes? With all the Canucks’ current blue line corps filled up with veterans, you will find likely areas in the future available when you look at the next few periods. Let’s have a look at this smooth skating Finn.

TONI UTUNEN (#10 possibility)

Being a 14 yr old, playing against player 2 yrs older, Toni Utunen had been almost a place per player. He’s got perhaps not scored at that price since. There’s a caveat that is big, though: Utunen kept going within age brackets, always 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 the following year he switched expert, skating 11 times when it comes to senior Tappara squad into the Liiga (Finland’s elite league) and in addition being loaned down to LeKi when you look at the 2nd tier Mestis league for 28 games.

Utunen showed adequate to draw the eyes associated with 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 maybe not planning to score against older players, you’re planning to need to be extremely proficient at stopping them if you’re likely 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 same period, Utunen became a typical within the Tappara lineup, just because he didn’t play a good deal.

During the 2020 World Juniors, he wore an ‘A’ for the Finnish globe junior squad but yet again struggled to have much ice time for Tappara. In reality, their playing time diminished after he came back through the globes ironically the defenceman Tappara found mid period and whom pressed Utunen down seriously to eighth in the level chart ended up being former Canucks defenceman Adam Polasek.

“Of course, that could have now been an option that is interesting” his representative Jarmo Kork said via text message about whether he’d have actually checked to try out when it comes to Utica Comets in 2020 21, instead of another season 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 week that is next. He really wants to grow into a much better player as time goes by, so he could one play within the NHL, which can be his dream. time”

Dobber Prospects’ Cam Robinson has watched lots of Utunen during the last 2 yrs and called the young Finn the “consummate protective defender.” Toni Utunen of Finland celebrates using the championship trophy after beating the usa 3 2 within the silver medal game associated with 2019 globe junior hockey championship at Rogers Arena on Jan. 5, 2019. Rich Lam / Getty pictures files.The role great plains lending loans app he employs now could be one of many constant, be home more kind. He performs this by efficiently utilizing their stick and space control to thwart threats that are oncoming. Despite maybe maybe not being the player that is largest available to you, he manoeuvres and angles well down low and that can manage the leading regarding the web also,” said Robinson. “You will sometimes see him leap to the play and flash some of these previous (offensive) characteristics, but don’t ever expect it. He plays a safe and efficient design that should provide it self well to North American pro hockey. Nonetheless it shall additionally prohibit him from playing way too high up any lineups.”

Finnish leads journalist Miika Arponen concurred as to what works in Utunen’s game. exact exact Same elements continue to be there which were their skills as he ended up being drafted: their effortless skating, protective understanding additionally the no danger puck managing, but he’sn’t actually gone ahead in almost any aspect recently,” said Arponen. Having said that, Utunen’s growing reputation as a Mr. dependable could express a plateau, he warned.

“ He has got been offered a way to simply take a permanent i’m all over this Tappara’s defence but up to now he’sn’t had the opportunity to keep about it. And regrettably predicated on pre period games it looks become situation once more this current year while he is projected to function as the 7th defenceman for Tappara once more.”

Utunen seems set to relax and play out of the 12 months into the Liiga after which will make a jump to your United states Hockey League for 2021 22. He would have to signal a 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 of this 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 seems Utunen’s higher end during the NHL degree could be as a sixth or 7th defenceman.