The Philadelphia Flyers and Nashville Predators have each loaned one of their prospects overseas. A Florida Panthers prospect and pending restricted free agent (RFA) has signed in Finland and we take a look at a player who is being labeled as a boom-or-bust type of prospect for our Prospect of the Day.
Flyers Loan Russian Prospect Rubtsov Overseas
The Flyers have announced that they have loaned prospect German Rubtsov to HK Sochi of the KHL for the start of the 2020-21 season. The native of Chekhov, Russia, was originally drafted by the Flyers in the first round, 22nd overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft.
Rubtsov spent this past season playing for the Flyers and the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League (AHL). In four games with the Flyers, he was held pointless but he managed to score two goals and added 11 assists for 13 points in 42 games with the Phantoms.
Rubtsov will have a great chance to further develop his game while playing in the KHL. He is a solid playmaker who loves to set his teammates up and he is great at utilizing his shot to his advantage. When training camp starts in November, it will be interesting to see if he is able to prove that he is worthy of a roster spot.
Predators Loan Prospect Tolvanen Overseas
The Predators announced that they have loaned prospect Eeli Tolvanen to Jokerit of the KHL for the start of the 2020-21 season. He was originally drafted by the Predators in the first round, 30th overall, in the 2017 NHL Draft.
Tolvanen spent this past season playing for the Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL where he managed to score 21 goals and added 15 assists for 36 points in 63 games. Over the course of two seasons in the AHL, he has managed to collect 71 points in 121 games.
There is no denying the fact that Tolvanen was highly touted coming into his draft year. He had high expectations that he could not meet, but that is in no way his fault. Putting that amount of pressure on a 18-year-old is not fair. Although some people may think he has been disappointing, Tolvanen is still young and has great potential. He has the chance to be an impactful player at the NHL level and the Predators should be happy with the way he has developed so far in their system.
Panthers Prospect Saarela Signs in Finland
The Panthers announced that pending RFA Aleksi Saarela has signed with Lukko of the Liiga. The native of Helsinki, Finland, was originally drafted by the New York Rangers in the third round, 89th overall, in the 2015 NHL Draft.
Saarela split this past season between the Panthers, Springfield Thunderbirds (AHL) and the Rockford IceHogs (AHL). In nine games with the Panthers, he scored two goals and added two assists for four points. With the IceHogs, he managed to collect an assist in only five games but he had 31 points in 43 games with the Thunderbirds.
Saarela was acquired by the Panthers in a trade for defenseman Ian McCoshen. He has proven that he can be a solid depth option for the Panthers down the line. If he re-signs with them, it will benefit both sides in the long run.
Prospect of the Day – Roby Jarventie
For our Prospect of the Day, we will be taking a look at Finnish prospect Roby Jarventie who could be one of the bigger hit or misses to come out of this year’s draft. Currently ranked 18th amongst European skaters by NHL Central Scouting, there is certainly no denying the fact that Jarventie possesses top-end skill.
Jarventie spent this past season playing for KOOVEE of the Mestis where he scored 23 goals and added 15 assists for 38 points in 36 games. He also suited up for his country internationally where he tallied 4 goals and added 3 assists for 7 points in 13 games.
Our own Eugene Helfrick thinks that Jarventie could become a solid NHL player but his defense needs some work.
“Heading into the 2020 NHL Draft, Roby Jarventie appears to be one of the most fascinating prospects available. As a big-bodied winger who is incredibly fast, possesses a fantastic shot and knows how to pass the puck to bring out the best in his teammates, he seemingly has everything that the league wants in a top-end selection.
“However, the reason why Jarventie isn’t getting talked about as one of the can’t-miss prospects of the draft is due to his lacking defensive zone presence. While he has great scoring instincts, he can be a bit lackadaisical in his own zone, leading to bad positioning and goals against.”
Time will tell whether or not Jarventie can become a solid NHL player. One thing that is certain, though, is that the team that drafts him will need to be patient and let him develop at his own pace.
My name is Mathieu Sheridan. I am a writer here at THW who covers the OHL and prospects in general.