Juuso Ikonen THW Close Up:
Date of birth: 01/03/1995
Place of birth: Espoo, Finland
Ht: 5’9″ Wt: 170 lbs
Positon: Right Wing
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2013
THW Ranking: 76 (April edition)
NHL Aggregate: 62
Craig Button: 68
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Juuso Ikonen is being projected, and will probably be picked, outside of the top two rounds for one main reason: his size. Standing at just 5’9″, the winger may be considered a little under-sized, but any NHL team that picks him up in the third round or later if he drops will undoubtedly be very satisfied with the prospect that they get.
Ikonen has a top end skill set that should convert to the highest standard. He is very skilled on the puck, sees the ice supremely well and is a confident passer. The one criticism of his offensive game is that at times he appears to look for the pass a little too much and fails to utilize his shot, which is a pretty good one.
Ikonen has the chance to become a useful offensive player in the NHL. He has the grit, determination and skill set to emulate other small forwards currently plying their craft successfully like Jiri Hudler, Cory Conacher and David Desharnais. In terms of offensive upside he probably matches up best with the later two comparisons, but his finesse style of game lines up better with Hudler.
NHL teams should be encouraged by the fact that, in spite of his stature, Ikonen is pretty strong on his skates and pretty strong on the puck. He has also been recognized as a player who competes hard and isn’t afraid of playing his hockey in the dirty areas. He has versatility in terms of the position he can play. At Finnish junior level Ikonen played center and he has been effective on the wing since stepping up to SM-liiga level.
Ikonen scored four goals and nine points for Blues in his first taste of SM-liiga action in 2011-12. He took on a bigger role this season and acquitted himself pretty well in senior hockey scoring 13 goals and 26 points in 54 games. He showed off his improved experience in the Jr. A SM-liiga postseason tallying 13 points in 10 contests.
Where will he end up in June: His size will dissuade teams from taking a risk on him in the first two rounds, but it seems highly probable that Ikonen will go somewhere in the third round.
‘A skilled winger with very good hockey sense. A reliable point scorer and finisher. Is small in size but competes hard.’
‘Ikonen sees the ice well, has decent wheels and skating stride underneath him, and competes hard. I am sure many eyebrows were raised and several notes taken on Ikonen, so do not be surprised if his game comes to North America in a few years.’
Russ Bitely – Examiner.com
‘Juuso Ikonen is a skilled and fast winger with high hockey IQ. Plays a decent physical game despite his small size and is not afraid of battling physically. Has been able to put up good point totals on every level he has played so far.’
Miika Arponen – Dobber Prospects
-Ikonen competed for Finland in the 2012 U-18 World Championships tallying an assist in five games.
-He is wearing an ‘A’ for his country at this year’s U-18 championships and is considered a key player.
ETA: 2-4 years
Risk-Reward Analysis: Risk = 3/5 Reward = 4/5
NHL Potential: Top six forward
Flaws/Aspects need to work on:
Fantasy Hockey Potential: Offensive 7/10 Defensive 6/10
NHL Player Comparison:
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