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Thread: Rangers Draft [C] Aleski Saarela 3rd Rd (89th) Pick

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    Rangers Draft [C] Aleski Saarela 3rd Rd (89th) Pick



    Name: Aleksi Saarela
    Position: C
    Shoots: Left
    Current Team: Ässät (Liiga)

    Hockeys Future Profile: http://www.hockeysfuture.com/prospects/aleksi-saarela/

    http://thehockeywriters.com/aleksi-s...-prodigal-son/

    Today he’s a vested player for Assat in Finland’s top pro league. Although the knocks against him for being injury prone persist, this past season he missed just five league games, and took part in over a dozen international tilts. Saarela long ago left behind the kind of dangling that made him prodigy material. In its place, he has assumed a simplified, more pro-style game without giving up any bit of his prodigious skill-set. He’s an agile skater with great acceleration and excellent top speed; a killer puck-handler with incredible vision who processes the game with a world-class hockey IQ; he has a quick release, his shot is deadly-accurate whether shooting in-stride or off the one-timer; and he is as effective a playmaker as he is a finisher.
    http://www.eliteprospects.com/player....jCwUF2Ff.dpuf

    A dangerous offensive winger that creates energy through scoring chances. Possesses good hockey sense as well as good hands and stick handling ability. A smooth and speedy skater who has a lot of jump in his step. Not very large in stature; however, his diminutive size doesn't deter his scoring prowess, and that is what he will have to rely upon to be successful.
    Current Statistics
    HockeyDB.com Page:http://www.hockeydb.com/ihdb/stats/p...php?pid=164043
    Team Player Page: N/A

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    Here's the pick I'm most iffy on.

    There's definitely talent here, but he's certainly the highest risk. The idea that he may have already plateaued at 18 is a cause for worry. He'd be the type of guy I'd try to get over to Hartford as soon as possible to work on his tools. Can't take risks with attitude, effort and output if potential is truly there. Gernander might not be my favorite person when it comes to development, but I'd rather a player be closer to home to work with and address his kinks.

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    people have said that he's the biggest dark horse in the draft. I've even heard steal of the draft this past weekend.

    That said, I don't get it - based on his numbers. I get that his ranking plummeted due to an injury - but the stats are still very pedestrian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by torontonyr View Post
    people have said that he's the biggest dark horse in the draft. I've even heard steal of the draft this past weekend.

    That said, I don't get it - based on his numbers. I get that his ranking plummeted due to an injury - but the stats are still very pedestrian.
    His Liiga numbers aren't bad for an 18 year old. They pale in comparison to Rantanen, but they aren't really bad.

    Way too early to even think about him as a steal though. Probably very high boom or bust potential, but he has a long way to go to show anything worth being a steal.

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    I don't mind risk/reward picks, but this guy might just be too much of a risk. He was seen a possible top 5 pick many, many years ago but has still kind of fallen off the map. From report he's short and stocky and not a great skater. I don't know if you can get away with being a poor skater AND be small. That in itself might prevent him from ever reaching the NHL

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew a Penalty View Post
    His Liiga numbers aren't bad for an 18 year old. They pale in comparison to Rantanen, but they aren't really bad.

    Way too early to even think about him as a steal though. Probably very high boom or bust potential, but he has a long way to go to show anything worth being a steal.
    Not bad, but not good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by torontonyr View Post
    Not bad, but not good.
    I wouldn't say pedestrian though. It was below expectations of him and below the top Finnish prospect. Pedestrian stats wouldn't get him drafted.

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    12 Points in 52 games? That's pedestrian for any player.

    Where his numbers do shine, however, is against his own (or lesser) age group.

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    Quote Originally Posted by torontonyr View Post
    12 Points in 52 games? That's pedestrian for any player.

    Where his numbers do shine, however, is against his own (or lesser) age group.
    17-18 year olds in European leagues don't exactly put up big numbers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew a Penalty View Post
    17-18 year olds in European leagues don't exactly put up big numbers.
    Which is why they're pedestrian.

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    Quote Originally Posted by torontonyr View Post
    Which is why they're pedestrian.
    12 points in 52 games against guys twice as old as you isn't pedestrian at all. I'm not expecting him to have ppg stats at that level.

    I'd also keep in mind that he's a third rounder. Yes, he might be a steal. He may also end up being yet another on the list of Euro players we draft who can't cut the NHL.

    We all want him to be the former. He's the perfect encapsulation of our drafting strategy over the last few years - stockpile picks and swing for the fences.
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    Quote Originally Posted by torontonyr View Post
    12 Points in 52 games? That's pedestrian for any player. Where his numbers do shine, however, is against his own (or lesser) age group.
    The young guys are mostly playing 4th line minutes and not in PP situations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by G1000 View Post
    12 points in 52 games against guys twice as old as you isn't pedestrian at all. I'm not expecting him to have ppg stats at that level.

    I'd also keep in mind that he's a third rounder. Yes, he might be a steal. He may also end up being yet another on the list of Euro players we draft who can't cut the NHL.

    We all want him to be the former. He's the perfect encapsulation of our drafting strategy over the last few years - stockpile picks and swing for the fences.
    Older? Yes. As talented? No.

    I'm not impressed by those numbers, personally.

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    Joel Eriksson Ek scored 4 goals and 6 points in the Swedish league and went #20. Numbers aren't everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cash or Czech? View Post
    Joel Eriksson Ek scored 4 goals and 6 points in the Swedish league and went #20. Numbers aren't everything.
    Swedish League > Finnish League.

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    Quote Originally Posted by torontonyr View Post
    Swedish League > Finnish League.
    Similar roles for 17/18 year olds. 4th line minutes. I understand you not being high on him. I'm not high on him either and he seems incredibly boom or bust, but I'm not letting the numbers dictate that for me. Numbers don't always translate to skill/talent. I'm more worried about his health and how much his stock has dropped in the past several years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cash or Czech? View Post
    Similar roles for 17/18 year olds. 4th line minutes. I understand you not being high on him. I'm not high on him either and he seems incredibly boom or bust, but I'm not letting the numbers dictate that for me. Numbers don't always translate to skill/talent. I'm more worried about his health and how much his stock has dropped in the past several years.
    True enough, but the Swedish League is the NHL compared to the Finnish league's AHL.

    Hoping for the best.

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    Summer is slow and news is tight:

    http://www.hockeysfuture.com/article...nish-draftees/

    Forward Aleksi Saarela of Assat Pori was the last player from Finland taken in the first 100 picks, going to the New York Rangers in the third round (89th overall) as a classic boom-or-bust prospect.

    As talented as any of the forwards in this year’s draft crop, Saarela was viewed as a potential first-round pick before battling injuries during the 2013-14 season and ending that year with a disappointing showing at the 2014 U18 World Championship. Saarela spent the full year in Liiga in 2014-15 and was arguably the best forward for Finland’s silver medal U18 team at this year’s World Championship. According to one scout, “if any team or coach can reign him in there, they’ve got a pretty good player.”

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    They lost me when they said "as talented as any players taken in this draft".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Puck Head View Post
    They lost me when they said "as talented as any players taken in this draft".
    The kid has skill, but I was more focused on their comment regarding the U18 WC. He's definitely a project and a boom/bust pick, but that's perfect for a late 3rd rounder.

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