The Edmonton Oilers once again siigned a player from Euro Canada, Finland. This time it’s Iiro Pakarinen, who scored 20 goals in the SM-Liiga this past season.
- Elite Prospects: A large winger shooting from his right. An energetic player with good skating and a nice frame. Possesses a good sharp, wrist shot and is a solid finisher. A hard worker and versatile player who can also play as a defenceman. (Matias Strozyk, 2012)
His NHLE via Desjardins is 82GP, 15-7-22. He had a nice WHC’s (10, 3-0-3).
Long time Lowdown guest Kirk Luedeke had this to say about him in his draft year:
Iiro Pakarinen, RW 6-1, 198 Kalpa (Finland)– Undrafted overager has nice size, should add some bulk and get stronger. Heavy feet with a choppy stride, but decent straight-line speed. Needs to pick up the initial burst to have a shot at the NHL. Keeps his stick on the ice and goes to the net well. Opportunistic scorer throughout; managed to be in right place at right time and made his opportunities count. OK defensively; doesn’t do anything to stand out in his own end. Overview: Pakarinen had a pretty good hand in Finland’s offense during the preliminary round, but seems to be a longshot as an NHL prospect. Might have done enough to get drafted late, but not a prospect to keep a close eye on as the 106th-ranked skater by Central and not likely to be on many teams’ lists if at all.
Hockey’s Future: Pakarinen plays like a demon in tight spots, and his stick handling ability and skating agility compares favorably to any of the top young players in Finland. Rather than focus on artistic playmaking, however, Pakarinen prefers the physical elements of the game. Offensively, he does have a hard, accurate shot which suggests he could be a dangerous sniper. While his physical style explains his pedestrian offensive numbers, that abrasiveness has gained him both attention and notoriety from scouts. As coaches and scouts will tell you, it’s easier to tone down a player who is too aggressive than it is to try and instill competitiveness.
Derek Zona: Iiro Pakarinen is a right-shooting right winger from Suonenjoki, a town of 7,000 people located forty-five minutes outside of Kuopio, home of KalPa Hockey. Suonenjoki is internationally renown for their strawberry farms and, according to Hartikainen, there’s a chance that the town might be exporting something else in the next few years. His proximity to Kuopio means that Pakarinen’s formative years have been spent in the KalPa system, trailing Hartikainen by two years. He’s listed at 6’1″ and 200 pounds, so he’s already a big kid even though he’s only eighteen years old.
He’s a Finn. That’s like being from Red Deer only cooler. 22, rock on. Love it.