A Tale of Two Finns: Patrik Laine vs Jesse Puljujarvi

A little while back, Canucks general manager Jim Benning announced that he’d be looking to draft a defenceman in the first round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, barring an elite forward being available that was too hard to pass up. So a couple of weeks ago I set out a primer for this year’s top four defencemen, making the assumption that the Canucks were likely to fall in the 4-10 range on draft day.

Then the Canucks went on a nine-game losing streak, and although they somehow managed to win four of their last six games, their final standings position has been cemented at 28th. Suddenly a top three pick is not only possible, but downright likely – only leapfrogging lottery winners could shake them from the top three.

With the new lottery system this year, any team out of the playoff picture has three cracks to move into the top three, where they’ll have a chance to draft a franchise altering player. The first overall pick is nearly a no-brainer – Auston Matthews is considered the best player available, and only a few rabblerousers are challenging that notion.

In the second and third spots though, two towering Finnish wingers are slated to be taken. Both are well above six feet tall, and are putting up respectable numbers in the top tier Finnish league as 17-year olds. Say you’ve got the second overall pick at your disposal, who do you pick: Patrik Laine or Jesse Puljujärvi?

If you’re curious about the two Finns, there’s no shortage of information out there. Scouting reports galore can be found all over the internet. I’ll provide a sampling of that of course, but since this is analytics-based blog, I’m gonna give you something on the Finns that you probably haven’t seen yet: fancy stats!

Yes, it’s true, we have access to fancy stats for the top tier Finnish league. Everyone does in fact, since Liiga lists them on their website – you just have to wade through a mess of google-translated Finnish to figure out what’s what, and then Excel the hell out of it.

That’s exactly what I’ve done. The Liiga website provides a series of advanced stats, including Corsi (shot attempt differential), Zone Starts, and PDO. While they don’t include rate stats, they do host enough time on ice data for me to manufacture my own.

Disclaimer: All fancy stats in the following sections are derived from the regular season – playoffs will be discussed at the end.

Let’s dive in!

Scouting Reports

Laine and Puljujärvi are similar in terms of body type and size, but are considerably different in terms of playing style, flash, and all around ability. Laine is seen as the more creative and more offensively gifted of the two, while Puljujärvi is considered the more complete player.

As the year has gone on, Patrik Laine has pulled ahead of his Finnish companion in the majority of rankings. His size, speed, magical hands, and precise finish have drawn comparisons to Mario Lemieux, one of the all-time greats.

Patrik Laine has more than a couple of scouts reminiscing about a fellow named Mario Lemieux. It was apparent at the U-20…was noticeable down the stretch in the SM-liiga regular season, and even more apparent during the playoffs – this kid is scary good, and the closest thing comparable to Mario since…..Mario.

“He looks like Mario when he’s carrying the puck,” noted one top scout during the U-20, and he wasn’t alone in that assertion. When asked for a comparison, Teemu Selanne brought up Lemieux as well.

“I can’t honestly recall scouting a forward over 6-4 with a skill set as similar to Mario’s as Laine’s,” says [McKeen’s chief amateur scout] Grant McCagg. “The way he creates space when he has the puck, his hands, his release, his shot, his vision…maybe he’s not quite at Mario’s level…but he’s not that far off. He’s a tier above Rick Nash at the same age. I see a future 50-goal NHL scorer, maybe a 60-goal guy.”

The McKeen’s rankings even go so far as to place Laine ahead of Matthews, though they don’t have much support in that regard. Typically he’s rated as the second overall selection.

Both Laine and Puljujärvi are big players, but Laine uses his size more effectively that Puljujärvi does – he’s stronger in corners and in knocking opponents off pucks. His vision and offensive zone awareness is first rate and he’s used them to tear up the top Finnish league as a 17-year old.

Laine PPG

While Laine drew comparisons to Mario Lemieux, Puljujärvi has reminded scouts of a different superstar – one much closer to home: Finnish legend Teemu Selanne.

“Teemu always wanted to score, wanted to go to the net and always tried to create scoring chances. I like to do all of that, and be dangerous all the time. So I guess in that way we’re the same. I want to continue to play a versatile game, stay on the puck and go hard to the net.”

Of course, those comparisons are probably loftier than is warranted at this point. Puljujärvi isn’t a lock to score 40 goals in the NHL, let alone the 76 Selanne put up in his rookie campaign. Still, it’s nice just to have the comparison of the fundamentals.

Puljujärvi comes out ahead of Laine in terms of skating and quickness (which is a bit of a weakness for Laine at this point), though he doesn’t have quite the same level of offensive pedigree. He is instead touted for his two-way ability and all around game. These attributes put him slightly ahead of Laine in terms of NHL readiness. He’s also not some decent size to him, at 6-foot-3, 201 pounds, though he doesn’t use it in a manner than some NHL coaches might prefer.

“He’s a big guy, but he’s actually not that physical,” Finnish scout Toni Rajamäki told TSN 1260’s Pipeline Show. “Even though he’s a big kid and he can skate real well. He can steal the puck from opponents with great checking skills, but he’s not that physical, you don’t see him giving big hits and that.”

Asked whether Puljujärvi bore any resemblance to previously high ranked Finnish players like Aleksander Barkov or Mikko Rantanen, Rajamäki said that Puljujärvi stood in a league of his own.

“There’s never been a good Finnish player like him, he’s really unique.”

Puljujarvi PPG

Production Data

Now that we’ve had a look at how each of them has performed this season, let’s compare their statistics head-to-head. We’ll begin with the standard boxcars.

Standard

Laine has the advantage in basic statistics, having generated more goals, more assists, and more points all while playing less games. Puljujärvi does have an advantage in penalty minutes, if you’re in to that sort of thing. Laine’s PIMs are almost Lady Byng worthy, while Puljujärvi has been gooning it up. Actually, all 22 of Puljujärvi’s penalty minutes are accounted for by minor penalties – stick infractions, obstruction, that sort of thing.

We’re more interested in the analytical way of viewing production, so let’s move on to some rate stats.

Production

In this chart, the Goals per 60 minutes (G60), Assists per 60 minutes (A60), and Points per 60 minutes (P60) are all calculated at even strength*, while PP P60 represents Points per 60 minutes on the power play.

Laine again has the advantage in all areas of production, though Puljujärvi is no slouch.

Point Distribution

The two Finns’ points are distributed in an almost equal fashion in terms of even strength and power play production. Neither has any short handed points as neither are regular penalty killers – they’re both hovering at around just a couple minutes over the course of the whole season.

Using the NHLe metric, we can estimate how the Finns’ points would translate to the NHL level. Over the course of an 82 game season, Laine’s numbers translate to 17 points, while Puljujarvi’s translate to 13 points. Not too bad for a pair of 17-year olds. You can safely expect those totals to rise a fair amount when they make the transition to the NHL next season.

Shot Data

Patrik Laine has been praised for his shot rate, and those numbers certainly show up here – he dominates Puljujärvi in this category.

Shot Generation

It’s not as though Puljujärvi’s numbers are poor – they are well above league average. Laine, however, is among the league leaders in shot generation.

Laine generated shot attempts at a rate of 19.11 per 60 minutes in all situations**, which was fourth best in Liiga this season. He also generates unblocked shot attempts at a rate of 18.13 per 60 minutes (percentage of shot attempts that are blocked are much lower in European leagues where shot blocking isn’t held in such high regard), which was fifth in Liiga, and 10.12 shots on net per 60 minutes, which was also fifth in the league.

Looking at it inversely, Laine generates a shot attempt every 3.1 minutes of all situation play time. With an average shift length of just under 52 seconds, Laine generates a shot attempt approximately ever three and a half shifts, and a shot on net every 6.8 shifts. When all is said and done, Laine takes about 5.5 shot attempts per game and about 1.9 shots on net per game, both of which are in the league’s top 10 (among skaters with at least 50 minutes played).

Puljujärvi’s numbers are quite as impressive, but they are still solid. His 13.94 shot attempts per 60 minutes ranked 31st in Liiga this season, while his 6.93 shots on net per 60 minutes ranked 64th. That’s about 6 shifts for each shot attempt and 11 and a half shifts for each shot on net.

Possession Data

Finally we’ve found an area in which Puljujärvi is the clear leader. 

Possession

Puljujärvi’s Corsi percentages are superior to Laine’s in both standard and Close*** score situations. There are some qualifiers to go along with this however.

First of all, as you can see right on the graph, Puljujärvi has a huge advantage when it comes to zone starts. Through the whole regular season, Laine was dead even, starting 212 times in the offensive zone, and 212 times in the defensive zone. Puljujärvi on the other hand started almost 50 more times in the offensive zone than the defensive zone. This is naturally going to lead to some increased offensive output.

Secondly, Puljujärvi has been playingfor a much stronger possession team that Laine. Kärpät, Puljujärvi’s team, was tied for the best possession percentage in all of Liiga during the regular season, controlling 53.4 per cent of shot attempts. In score-close situations, they controlled 52.9 per cent of shot attempts, which is third best.

It should be noted, however, that Puljujärvi led Kärpät in Corsi percentage, indicating that he was an important reason for why their possession numbers are so dominant. His 57.5 per cent Corsi-for percentage ranked 14th in the league. Sebastian Aho and Mika Pyörälä, two of Puljujärvi’s frequent linemates, also sported Corsi-for percentage above 55 per cent during the regular season.

By contrast, Tappara, Laine’s team, had a Corsi-for percentage of 48.2, which is in the bottom third of the league, while controlling 47.7 per cent of shot attempts in score close situations. This does improve the look of Laine’s 53.3 Corsi-for percentage, but it doesn’t make his numbers as impressive as Puljujärvi’s. Unlike Puljujärvi, Laine did not lead his team in possession percentage; he was third among Tappara regulars.

Deployment Data

In all areas, Laine has a slight lead in ice time, getting a little under two and a half extra minutes per game over the course of the season. Laine gets slightly more power play time as well, while neither spend much time killing penalties.

It’s interesting to note that Puljujärvi’s ice time decreases slightly over the course of the game, while Laine sees the most ice time in the third period. However, the differences are so minute that they may represent nothing more than random chance.

Deployment

It was mentioned above, but it bears repeating now: Puljujärvi has a very high offensive zone start rate, while Laine’s offensive starts are dead even with his defensive starts.

There could be a variety of reasons for this, and some of them may have more to do with coaching bias and assumptions than being a reflection of skill level. Perhaps the Tappara coach doesn’t even pay attention to zone starts and is instead just rolling four lines incessantly.

“Luck” Data

When we talk about things like “luck” and “bounces”, the go to stat is PDO, which is nothing more than the sum of a player’s on-ice shooting percentage and save percentage. It’s an overly simplistic proxy for luck, but it’s available to us, so we might as well peek at it.

Name 5v5 oi Sh% 5v5 oi Sv% PDO
Laine 10.2 93.1 103.3
Puljujärvi 7.9 94.8 102.7

Laine’s PDO is slightly better, but we can see from the chart that each is receiving benefits from different ends of the ice.

Laine’s on-ice shooting percentage is a dominant 10.2 per cent. He’s helping out in this regard, with a personal shooting percentage of 12.7 per cent. His on-ice save percentage is just a smidge less than the team average of 93.8 per cent, so it’s not as if he’s benefiting from goaltender that is far and away better when he’s on the ice than off.

Puljujärvi, meanwhile, has a below average on-ice shooting percentage of 7.9 per cent, which is outrageously unlucky, especially considering that his personal shooting percentage is a whopping 14.9 per cent. His on-ice percentage is a little above the team average of 93.5 per cent, so he could be benefiting from a bit of luck in this regard.

Playoff Performance

The Liiga playoffs are in full swing and both players have taken part. In fact, Tappara and Kärpät were recently paired off in a semifinal duel, which Tappara took four game to three just yesterday. Something that hasn’t been as close is the performances of the two Finns.

Again, Puljujärvi hasn’t been bad – he has three goals and four assists for seven points in nine games. But Patrik Laine has been unstoppable.

In just 12 games, Laine has eight goals so far, which is three more than anyone else in the league has. He’s also blowing the rest of the league away in shots (41) and shot attempts (78). Like his performance at the World Juniors in the winter, Laine is demonstrating that he can not only rise to the occasion in big moments, but he can absolutely dominate.

If that isn’t impressive enough, consider the fact that the last Finnish top five NHL draft pick, Aleksander Barkov, had no goals in five playoff games in his draft year – Barkov scored 28 goals and 59 points in the NHL this season at the age of 20. That Laine is destroying a European elite league at the age of 17 is nothing short of amazing.

Other trends have carried over from the regular season: Puljujärvi once again has the advantage in possession numbers – his 56.4 Corsi-for percentage dwarfs Laine’s 48.8 per cent ratio. This discrepancy is urged on by the fact that their respective teams are currently playing against each other, and Kärpät is thoroughly outpossessing Tappara.

After ousting Puljujärvi, Laine is now headed to the Liiga final. Personally, I can’t wait to see how many goals he pots before it’s all over.

My Pick

If it were me standing at the podium with the second overall selection this June, I wouldn’t hesitate a second to call Patrik Laine’s name. Both players are elite talents, and both are likely to have long, successful careers in the National Hockey League, but Laine is just flat out the more offensively talented player. A two-way game is nice – and in fairness, Puljujarvi is a truly elite two-way player, any team would still be lucky to get him – but it would be even nicer to get something more dynamic.

As a Canucks writer, I’m biased towards what they need most, and what they don’t have is a game-breaking goal scorer. In fact, they haven’t had a scorer like Laine since Markus Naslund was filling the net in the heyday of the West Coast Express. Even then it could be argued that Laine’s ceiling is higher than Naslund’s best years – this is the luxury afforded by top tier draft picks.

If I were a betting man, I would guess that Jim Benning would organize his draft board in the same manner. We know of his penchant for two-way players, but we also know how he fawns over players who can “really rip the puck”. Players like Brock Boeser, like Jared McCann – players like Patrik Laine. Laine also plays a meaner game and battles harder and more effectively in the corners. I believe that these are aspects of the game that Jim Benning covets.

Once April 30th rolls around and those ping pong balls start dropping, we’ll have a much better idea of where we stand. Maybe all of this will be moot because we get that first overall pick (dare to dream) or everything goes to hell and we end up in sixth.

But if my team ends up with the second overall pick, I know who I’ll be rooting for them to pick.


* All even strength times are an educated estimate. The Liiga website discloses total time on ice as well as power play time and penalty kill time, so even strength time is calculated by subtracting the special teams time from the total time. This will not account for situations like 4-on-4 or goalie pulls, so it isn’t a traditional 5-on-5 number, but it is still quite accurate.

** All shot data is All Situations because while time on ice is provided situationally, shots and shot attempts are given as a raw number only.

*** Score Close situations are when the teams are within one goal in periods one and two, or tied in period three.

  • Dirty30

    Thank you for a very thorough post.

    One clarification, though.

    While Benning made it clear he would take one of the big 3 forwards if the Canucks select in the top 3, it is important to note that he did not say he would take a defenseman if he drafts in the 4-10 range.

    All he did was say what we already know: the depth chart is thinnest on the blueline in terms of premium talent.

    He may very well take Dubois, Tkachuk or Nylander if he selects in the 4-6 range if he feels (like Central Scouting) that they are better than any of the defenseman prospects.

    • pheenster

      I agree with this take. While 1-3 are very plain to see, I believe there’s a good chance the team will rank Tkachuk or Nylander (either of whom would be a solid consolation prize) ahead of any of the defencemen. We really, desperately need Matthews or one of the Finns, but unless Benning goes “off the board”, he should be able to draft a can’t miss prospect anywhere in the top 6. He may have his eye on Chychrun, but he’s probably the only d-man I would consider picking and then probably only if the aforementioned five forwards are gone and we’re in our worst case scenario (6th overall). The prospect pool is thinnest on top line potential anyways (more so than D, in my opinion).

    • When I wrote the article, it was prior to the end of the year press conference, and all we had to go on was the town hall in which he would lean towards taking a defenceman in the first round. Most took this to mean that he would take a defenceman outside the top 3 or 4, until he clarified that stance earlier this week.

      • IIRC, he said something to the affect of “all things being equal” he would rather take a defenseman based on the Canucks not having selected one in the first round in a decade.

        But that is subjective and open to interpretation.

        He may feel there is separation amongst the next tier of forwards after the big 3 and the group of defenseman.

        Anyways, no big deal.

        Thank you for the very good breakdown.

  • pheenster

    Thanks for this very informative write-up. It’s not only interesting to find out more about the potential draft picks, but it also brings to light all the considerations Benning and other GM’s need to pore over to make the decision. It would also be interesting to see Matthews’ numbers for comparison.
    Two way players with offensive skills like Puljujarvi’s are a tremendous asset, but I’m with you, Laine sounds more like a game breaker.

  • “Suddenly a top three pick is not only possible, but downright likely.”

    Unfortunately, this is not quite true. The Canucks are mathematically most likely to pick 5th. They have about a 33% chance of picking in the top 3.

    There has been some interesting movement in the draft rankings, which I’m not quite sure to make of. McKeen’s now has Laine as the #1 pick, with Matthews 2nd, Michael McLeod 3rd, and Puljujarvi 4th.
    http://www.mckeenshockey.com/prospects-blog/mckeens-2016-top-30-nhl-draft-rankings-apr-2016/

    Either of the Finns could be amazing with the Sedins. It would be hard to pass up Matthews if they get first overall, though, their top-line center of the future, with Horvat #2 and McCann or Vey #3.

      • Because they have 11 teams in the lottery who are behind them. The way the lottery system works is that teams that start out high are more likely to move down, and teams that start low are more likely to move up. They only have an 11.5% chance of getting the top pick. If either Edmonton or Toronto wins the top pick, their odds of getting the second pick improve only slightly, to about 15%. The good news for the higher placed teams is that even if they slip, they will still pick fairly high.

        Try the NHL Lottery simulator. The most common result for the Canucks is 5.

      • Um. Math. (Because of the relatively high chance are that teams other than the Leafs, Oil and Canucks will win the three lottery spots, which will move the Leafs Oil and Canucks back)

        Here are the numbers:

        Odds of No 1 pick: 11.5%
        Odds of No. 2 pick: 11.4%
        Odds of No. 3 pick: 11.3%
        Odds of No. 4 pick: 14.2%
        Odds of No. 5 pick: 37.8%
        Odds of No. 6 pick: 13.8%

    • Yeah I’m aware of the odds, I was referring to “likely” only as relevant to the position they were in earlier and relevant to other teams. A 1 in 3 shot is a pretty high likelihood given the spread of percentages.

      Those McKeen’s rankings are straight up outlandish. That’s what I’m referring to when I say rabblerousers. Having Laine above Matthews is edgy enough, but having McLeod above Puljujarvi, Nylander, Dubois, Sergachev, Chychrun.. that’s just insane.

  • pheenster

    Nice article Jeremy, agree with your take on this. Hoping we get a top 3 pick, if we don’t I would not be surprised if Benning trise to trade to move into top 3.

    With our luck though I am expecting the 5/6 position, so I won’t suffer the let down of April 30th.

  • Nice article. Thanks. I really want Laine. Those comparisons to Mario are just too tasty. I would even consider taking him first over Matthews. Best case scenario is if we win the lottery and Arizona gets the second pick. I’m sure we can get Dvorak + for switching.

    I recall Benning saying that picks 4-15 are largely the same and are ranked by team preference. If Benning does not get one of the top 3 picks, I can easily see him horse trading down (or is it up?) on the draft and picking Jake Bean, who is projecting to be picked in the teens.

  • Dirty30

    “Perhaps the Tappara coach doesn’t even pay attention to zone starts and is instead just rolling four lines incessantly.”

    Well, he’ll just fit right in with the Canucks, then.

    Good article.

  • You sure about all this? I read Puljajarvi set up a couple of OT winners in the Karpat – Tappara series. Also, his WJC performance was better than Laine’s by just about every metric.

    From what I’ve seen of them (limited), Puljajarvi’s more physical. As in he checks people. Laine’s good at shielding the puck. Puljajarvi will actually cause turnovers, pursue the puck, and hit people once in a while. He looks faster and stronger to me.

    Laine’s lighting it up, for sure, but most of what I see is one goal–from the Stamkos/Ovechkin hole in the high slot on the weak side. It’s a great trick, but it’s just one trick, and NHL defenses will do more to take that away. Puljajarvi does so much more.

    Not to mention we’ve recently drafted two right-hand shot wingers who can rip it from the top of the circle.

  • Dirty30

    I’d actually take Puljujärvi based on what I’ve seen. Both are really good but Puljujärvi s Henrik while Laine is Daniel.
    We have more shooters than playmakers in the system. Someone is going to have to run the PP when Henrik is gone.

  • Dirty30

    Vancouver, Benning, by taking a head-hunter instead of a replacement for the aging Sedins, does not have a single 1st line forward prospect, whereas, Alex, Tanev and now Hutton, give the Canucks some respite on defence. and any D-man is 5 years away from helping, so, there’s the ‘fab five’ of the World Juniors, plus Dubois in the Q, McLeod in the O, and Jost in the W (BCHL), even Kellar in the U.S., Rubtsov in Europe,…. the same choice waits the Leafs

  • Waffles

    I find the penalty minutes to be very revealing. If Puljujarvi is getting obstruction penalties it means there a good chance he is caught out of position or getting beaten on plays. It seems to be rather inversely related to being the most “complete” player. Whereas Laine has very few penalty minutes at all.

    Mind you, Puljujarvi still has very low overall PIMs and probably only looks like a lot when compared with Laine so this observation may be overreaching.

    • pheenster

      “I find the penalty minutes to be very revealing. If Puljujarvi is getting obstruction penalties it means there a good chance he is caught out of position or getting beaten on plays. It seems to be rather inversely related to being the most “complete” player. Whereas Laine has very few penalty minutes at all.”

      While it might look that way just by looking at the statistics, the reason is actually that Laine is, or more specifically was, extremely, well… not selfish, but definitely lazy defensively. Think Ovechkin glide. When they play turned he was in no hurry to hurry after players and backcheck the puck. Or go into corners and wrestle for the puck. Hence almost zero penalties. He loves big, clean hits though.

      He’s worked on that, but it’s Puljujarvi who will go in the corners with speed and wrestle the puck free. And then hurry back in his own zone if there’s a turnover. He runs around the rink like a man possessed creating offense. They’re very different players, almost night & day. They complement each other brilliantly though.

    • Dirty30

      I’d like to see three draft pools — Pool A gets to pick 1-10 based on standings … Best record goes first, then down to worst of the ten.

      Pool B picks 11-20 again based on record and Pool C picks 21-30 based on record.

      Next year, those teams that picked in Pool A can only pick in Pool B and Pool B picks in C and C picks in A.

      Following year, everyone moves by Pool and again picks by record.

      Year Four and Pool A is picking in Pool A again etc.

      So every four years the Canucks would be Pool A and if they have a winning season they could pick in the top of the draft.

      If the Oilers continue to lose they would pick 10th, 20th and 30th in three successive drafts. It won’t make them a better team but it won’t keep rewarding them for lousy management either

      .

  • allsportsfan

    A hindsight review of past NHL drafts shows player career performance does not match pre-draft rankings (well duh, thats no surprise). But less obvious is the success in drafting high performing forwards in the first round is significantly better than picking defence men. The hit-or-miss odds are a little poor for first-round defenders whereas many top players fall to later rounds – Shea Weber, Duncan Keith, Kris Letang, PK Subban, Gostisbere and Canuck picks like Edler and Hutton.

    If Van misses out on Mathews, Laine or Puljujarvi I still favour going with a forward in the first round and picking defenders in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

    Other than that, nice analysis of the two Finns.

  • pheenster

    Good article indeed! It`s safe to say Laine is the clear number two pick with a chance of unseating Mathews. It would be great to get Laine or Mathews but Puljujarvi isn’t chopped liver. After watching him play at the WJC and video of him in the Finish League, he reminded me of a young Mats Sundin. His size, skating and skill set make him a natural center. Our successor to Hank?

  • Harte of a Lion

    I’d be interested to see their numbers compared to Rantanen and Barkov. Barkov especially, seeing as based on boxcars he was in another world compared to these two.

  • allsportsfan

    Great article and look at how the Finns look. I appreciate the fact that you bring the fancy stats and the analysis behind it, which is a nice view.

    Being the optimist I’d be happy with either one of the Finns but Laine could be a sleeper compared to Mathews with the potential like you said as a Naslund like sniper. Something we’ve been desperately missing and with him and Boeser it would be a wicked duo for the top 6.

    The interesting comparison would be is how well does the Finnish league compared to the AHL or KHL in terms of competitiveness and how well they translate coming over to the NHL.

  • Harte of a Lion

    Great article – lucky for us even with a pick possibly tumbling to six there are some serious talents here, the drop-off doesn’t happen in a serious way till at least 12.

  • Cageyvet

    In all honestly, If the Canucks end up with the 2nd or 3rd, I can see Benning and Co try to trade for which ever pick they don’t get ( if we win the 2nd slot, we trade for the 3rd ) similar to the Sedins, the only thing is it could cost us Brock B. And possibly a pick. You never know with Benning, would be pretty cool to have the Sedins in 99 and then the finish superstars in 16. I’m not saying it’s gonna happen or anything but it would be neat for sure. Either way I’m happy with whoever we draft, players after the 3rd pick are pretty solid.

    • pheenster

      Interesting theory. Another piece that could be in play is Demko. Not gonna get one of those guys by himself obviously but his value is high right now.

      Great piece of work by the way Jeremy. Much appreciated.

  • Harte of a Lion

    Pulju and Laine faced eachother in seven games in the semifinal stage of the finnish playoffs. Here are the compilations of all the games.
    Game 1. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TeEh7iNM8gA
    – Pulju 0+1, Laine 0+0
    Game 2. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QXkfKhylf_w
    – Pulju 0+0, Laine 1+0
    Game 3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjVJK6kOdcM
    – Pulju 0+0, Laine 0+0
    Game 4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDnLbSOlvgU
    – Pulju 1+0, Laine 2+0
    Game 5. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1x8jnjW2gg
    – Pulju 0+2, Laine 2+0
    Game 6. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a4473S1ARGY
    – Pulju 0+1, Laine 1+0
    Game 7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUpp8NF8MQs
    – Pulju 0+0, Laine 0+0
    Laine has been actually playing two-way game in the playoffs, so compariston to Ovechkin is quite insulting in that way. Also his skating has improved a lot, so you can’t really say he is slow. But compared to Puljujärvi, everyone seems to be skating slowly. Laine is capable of big hits and phenomenal puck protecting. Puljujärvi is a speedster with good hands offensively and resembles Aleksander Barkov defensively. Not bad if you get either one of these guys. In addition, the guy in the golden helmet in Kärpät team is Sebastian Aho, the center of these monsters in the WJC.