2022-23 Team: Ilves/SaiPa (Finland)
Date of Birth: April 4, 2005
Place of Birth: Tampere, Finland
Height: 5-foot-10, Weight: 168 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: First-year draft eligible
- NHL Central Scouting (EU Skaters): 20th
- FC Hockey: 89th
- TSN/Craig Button: 40th
- Draft Prospects Hockey: 38th
Emil Järventie is a Finnish forward who’s played for multiple teams during the 2022-23 season. He started in Ilves’ system, where he played for their U18 and U20 teams in the Finnish junior league. Eventually, they loaned him to SaiPa, one of the weaker teams in the Liiga — the top tier of Finnish hockey — where he currently plays. He also played in 19 games for KOOVEE in the Mestis — Finland’s equivalent of the AHL.
Järventie is a fun player to watch, as evidenced by his performance against Team USA at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Aug. 2022. In a 4-1 win against the Americans, he picked up a goal and two assists, and it’s hard to say what was more impressive. The goal came on a wicked backhand, while his two assists were cross-ice and courtesy of great vision. Here’s one example of his cross-ice passing ability from a game in the Finnish junior league:
But though Järventie has some intriguing offensive skills, his skating needs a bit of work for a player who’s only 5-foot-10, 168 pounds. It’s not that his skating is poor. But undersized players need to be high-end skaters, so he will have to add more explosiveness to find success in the NHL. It also could hurt his draft stock as an undersized prospect, so it should be a focal point of his development once a team selects him.
And while the cross-ice passes are impressive, they’re not the easiest to complete with consistency. In the game against Team USA, Järventie did attempt them quite a bit, so that could be an issue. He may need to simplify his game as he moves up in professional leagues. But that usually comes with maturity and realizing that kind of play won’t always work against pros.
Still, Järventie can make up for it with his shot. Even though he only scored one goal in the game against Team USA at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, he was not shy about shooting the puck. Some of those shots came from the perimeter on the power play, but his marker at five-on-five was from the slot. If he gets to high-danger areas consistently, he could become a serious scoring threat at the next level because his shot is a weapon.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Emil Järventie — NHL Draft Projection
Järventie has the skill and upside to be a second-round pick, but as we’ve seen with undersized prospects, that can scare teams off come draft day. That’s especially true if your skating needs some refinement, as is the case with Järventie. But even with that, he’s still a decent bet to go off the board somewhere in the second round.
“Järventie is an undersized but quick and electric winger. His feet are fast and he has a great motor, but his stride lacks power, and while his first steps are very quick, he doesn’t possess the greatest top speed. Järventie has good hands – notably in tight spaces – but he often relies too much on his skill and still needs to learn when to simplify his game. He flashes great playmaking ability at times, but it is very inconsistent, and he also makes a lot of questionable decisions with the puck. The most common problem is probably his poor shot selection – he has a hard wrist shot but not a very quick release and takes too many shots from the outside…” – Eetu Siltanen, Dobber Prospects (Oct. 2022)
Related: 2023 NHL Draft Guide
“Jarventie is an offensive winger with a lethal shot. He has had a pretty eventful season playing for several different teams, which has definitely affected his level of play. As an offensive guy, being slotted in on the fourth line for a struggling SaiPa team is definitely not the optimum situation. He wasn’t really able to showcase most of his strengths during this game, although there were a few occasions where you could see some flashes of the puckhandling and confidence that has made him a decent prospect…” Rasmus Tornqvist, FC Hockey
“He’s a skilled handler, he has excellent passing vision, and I’ve seen his ability to thread passes through tight spaces, but too often he just passes into skates or sticks; the skill and the vision is there, but the execution isn’t yet; which is a bit of a pattern in his game. He’s got a pretty good shot on him too, powerful, he makes slight adjustments to his angle before releasing, pulling the puck towards him just enough to sneak it by defenders, and catch goalies off guard. Usually pretty good on the forecheck, he moves his stick quickly in any direction to intercept passes…” – Smaht Scouting
Under Construction — Improvements to Make
- Explosiveness in skating
- Simplifying his game/decision-making
- Shot selection
Järventie has a different skill set than his brother Roby, an Ottawa Senators prospect who currently plays for the Belleville Senators in the AHL, but he is as intriguing as Roby was as a prospect in 2020. Emil flashes the high-end skill that Roby did, but he’s more of a project. If properly developed by the team that drafts him, he could turn into a 20-goal, 40-plus point scorer in a middle-six role. It’s just a matter of putting it all together.
Risk: 3.5/5, Reward: 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense: 7.5/10, Defense: 6/10