Puck77: Keep Your Eye On These Liiga Players

Finland

There are a few players in the Liiga that you should keep your eye on!

First of all disclaimer: I don’t watch many Liiga games since I mainly focus on the NHL but I do follow Liiga.

There will be no bias in this. There won’t be any prospects or future drafted players (Aleksi Heponiemi, Rasmus Kupari, Kaapo Kakko etc.) in this post. Hope you enjoy and keep an eye out for these guys.

Ville Leskinen, RW, Oulun Kärpät

Finland v Canada - 2013 USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp : News Photo

The 25 year old Finn is currently tied for first in points with three other players and first in goals. Leskinen is a speedy winger who can do most of the dirty work on the wing. He is most likely going to guide his team to back-to-back championships. Leskinen’s contract expires this summer so there is a chance someone jumps at the chance of getting a potential good bottom-nine-forward who can play big power play minutes.

Stats:
53 GP, 26 G, 24 A, 50 PTS, +27, 4 PPG, 7 GWG

Teemu Turunen, LW, HPK 

Finland v USA White - 2014 USA Hockey Junior Evaluation Camp : News Photo

Turunen is tied with Leskinen in points, but what perhaps makes him a better player is that he has a much worse supporting cast. While Leskinen has a brick wall called Veini Vehviläinen keeping the puck out, Turunen has a weak defense behind him. Turunen is only 23 and is in a similiar position as Leskinen, a player who will likely see if he gets an offer from North America. If not they will go either to the KHL or stay put. But, I believe that Turunen is more likely to get an offer from an NHL team than Leskinen since he’s more well rounded.

Stats:
52 GP, 20 G, 30 A, 50 PTS, +2, 5 PPG, 2 SHG, 2 GWG

Oliwer Kaski, RD, Lahden Pelicans

Beijer Hockey Games: Russia vs Finland : News Photo

This kid is amazing. At the moment, Kaski is in the top 10 in points. He has already scored more points this season than Miro Heiskanen of the Dallas Stars did last season. (Side note: He played last year with Heiskanen on the same pairing.)

Kaski is a big defenseman with offensive upside and is the best defenseman in the league. He is locked down until the summer of 2020, so if he fails to be consistent performer, his chances of making it to North America will get slimmer. 

Stats:
53 GP, 16 G, 28 A, 44 PTS, +3, 9 PPG, 2 GWG

I know this was a short article but I hope you enjoyed it and have a great day!

stats from Liiga.fi (stats were looked up on March 1st)

featured image photo credit – Pixabay.com

 

Author: Olli Huotari