2019-20 Team: Ilves (Liiga)
Date of Birth: Aug. 8, 2002
Place of Birth: Tampere, Finland
Ht: 6’2” Wt: 185 lbs
Position: Left Wing
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 First-Year Draft Eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 18th (Among EU Skaters)
- THW Larry Fisher’s April Rankings: 88th
- Andrew Forbes Top 217 for March: 91st
- Josh Bell’s Top 124 for February: 72nd
- Future Considerations: 58th
- Dobber Prospects Robinson’s April Rankings: 25th
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.
While Jarventie played for KOOVEE in the Mestis league (the second-highest professional hockey league in Finland) throughout the 2019-20 season, he was one of the most dominant scorers despite only being 17 years old. His 23 goals and 38 points in 36 games showcased exactly where his talents lie: scoring.
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.
Related: THW’s 2020 Draft Guide
Against weaker opponents in the Mestis, Jarventie was able to cover defensive errors using his size and speed, but that may not translate when he starts playing full-time in Liiga for the 2020-21 season. Against men, those defensive lapses may cause him to become a liability, even if his scoring upside is great.
Roby Jarventie – NHL Draft Projection
The general consensus is that Jarventie will be a mid to late third-round selection at the 2020 NHL draft. He has the toolkit that NHL general managers love, so it is hard to imagine him falling past round three.
In fact, some believe that he has the potential to crack the first round, given his size and ability at such a young age. While this seems unlikely, it wouldn’t be the first time that a team falls in love with a prospect’s intangibles, before taking a chance on him with a late first-round pick.
If this happens to Jarventie, that may put the wrong sort of pressure on him, as he simply won’t be ready for NHL ice-time next season. He needs at least one or two years playing in Liiga to really develop his game against men before he attempts to make the transition to North America.
A big, gun-slinging goal-scorer. Can finish from out high and is deadly in the slot area… Very young for this crop so there’s loads of space to grow.Cam Robinson – Dobber Prospects
Jarventie brings a diverse skill set to his line beyond setting up for rifle shots at the net. He’s dependable carrying the puck in open ice and will stickhandle through or around traffic, and he’s capable of trapping checkers up high once he’s inside the offensive zone.Steve Kournianos – The Draft Analyst
- Excellent shot.
- Incredibly fast for his size.
- Has a great passing IQ.
- Overall great offensive toolkits.
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Can be slow to react in the defensive zone.
- Needs to have his scoring touch catch up to his speed.
- Has to fully mature his gameplan to keep up against better opponents.
Related THW Draft Profiles
If he is able to round out his game, Jarventie has the toolkit needed to break into the NHL sooner rather than later. You could see him adding some size, speed, and a scoring touch to a franchises’ bottom-six by his 21st birthday.
In fact, if everything goes perfectly, he could very easily develop into that 20-goal scoring power forward that every team hopes to find at the draft. The intangibles are already there, he just needs to find the right situation that will give him the time to develop his game.
3/5 Risk, 5/5 Reward
Jarventie’s risk simply comes from where he is drafted. If he goes in the mid to late third round, he could be looked back on as the steal of the draft in five years.
If he goes in the early second round or even the late first, however, that may put expectations out of line for where he is at. He will need time to develop, and even if given that time, his defensive game may never round into NHL form.
Eugene Helfrick is a Tampa Bay Lightning writer who is actually from Tampa Bay. He has written about the Lightning for six years, covering everything from their run to the 2015 Stanley Cup Final, to their crushing first-round exit in 2019, to their redemption in the bubble in 2020. While he is happy to talk about just about anything from cows to cars to video games, hockey will always remain one of his favorite pastimes.