Dec 28, 2011
2012 World Junior Championship
Home Team: USA
Away Team: Finland
Draft Eligible Prospects Breakdown:
USA#8(Jacob Trouba) Physical defenseman who dominated the boards all game long. The Finns had a difficult time getting away from him in the defensive zone. Very good gap control, and liked to hold the line and force opponents to dump the puck in. Took away shooting lanes well. Area of improvement would be his skating abilities. Not slow by any means, but a couple of times was slow to turn and stay with opposing forwards on a rush. Offensively, has a cannon of a slap shot and will be a threat, but as for puck moving abilities, is average. Had a good rush and created a scoring chance and a penalty.
USA#15(Jon Merrill) Smooth skating defenseman who is very adapt in both ends of the ice. 2nd game of the year for him all year long as he is currently suspended by the University of Michigan. Looked comfortable playing in all situations. Makes good outlet passes and quick decisions with the puck. Defensively, not the most physical guy, but gets into battles and gets the job done. Offensively, makes good decisions. Very good skater, turns quickly and has good speed to his game.
USA#24(Jarred Tinordi) Bruising defenseman who had an excellent game. Stepped up at the appropriate times and dished out some big hits. Doesn’t run around to try to land big hits, but lets it come to him. Great along the boards, and used his size to his advantage to keep the Finns within his grasp. Showed good skating abilities today. Looked comfortable getting around in all zones. Offensively, does not have the playmaking touch or ability to rush the puck up and create chances, but good along the blue line to make good shots and hold the line.
FIN#6(Teemu Pulkkinen) Quick forward with nice hands. Plays on the top line for the Finns, who as a group have not looked very dangerous. Has shown flashes of very good offensive abilities, but not at a consistent level, especially along the boards. Definitely has creativity to his game, on the rush or in tight. Defensively, comes back hard and takes the lanes away well. Strength must improve.
FIN#12(Ville Pokka) Defenseman who had a very good, consistent game. Not flashy, but solid. Makes quick accurate outlet passes to get the attack started, and defensively displayed good strength along the boards. Positionally sound, but is not someone to step up on an opponent along the blue line. Offensively, joined the rush a few times and was a threat. Good skater, but can improve on overall speed.
FIN#20(Mikael Granlund) Counted on to be the offensive catalyst for the Finnish squad, but has not lived up to expectations thus far. Scored a goal today but was more out of luck, as he threw it out in front and went off of an American skate and in. Great skater with smooth puckhandling skills in all situations. A great playmaker, always has his head up. Displayed a very good defensive game today. Staying in shooting lanes and battled hard to retrieve pucks. Must simplify his game with the rest of his linemates and just get pucks to the net. Trying to do too much off the rush, and not enough off cycles.
SCOUTS NOTES: Finns had a much better effort today than against the Canadians two days ago. Showed more hustle and willingness to win battles all game long. Joel Armia had two goals, but could have had a much better game today. Very soft in all situations. Can’t say enough about Jarred Tinordi and his game today. Physically dominated the game and was so solid defensively. Jacob Trouba was another player that quiet stood out. Not flashy by any means, but as soon as he gets into a battle along the boards, it was almost a guarantee that he would come out of it with the puck. Sami Aittokallio had a great game for Finland. Kept them in the game until the third where they turned it on offensively.