THE OILERS AND THE REPUBLIC OF FINLAND (2016 EDITION)

The Edmonton Oilers have developed an unusual relationship with Finland over the last few years. Historically, Finns and Oilers go together like peanut butter and jam, but in the last decade or so the draft picks are few and far between. The procurement department has landed a few free agents—Lennart Petrell, Antti Tyrvainen, Jesse Joensuu—and acquired Lauri Korpikoski via trade. These men have become more infamous than famous as Oilers, although young Iiro Pakarinen is trying his best to re-establish what was once a brilliant bit of chemistry. Will this season see Edmonton use a top pick on Finland?

NHL TOTAL PLAYERS/FINISH PLAYERS DRAFTED BY YEAR AND TOTAL

  • 2015 NHL draft—211 total players, 11 from Finland
  • 2014 NHL draft—210 total players, 7 from Finland
  • 2013 NHL draft—211 total players, 9 from Finland
  • 2012 NHL draft–211 total players, 9 from Finland
  • 2011 NHL draft, 211 total players, 10 from Finland
  • 2010 NHL draft 210 total players, 7 from Finland
  • 2009 NHL draft, 211 total players, 7 from Finland
  • 2008 NHL draft,  211 total players, 6 from Finland
  • FINAL TALLY: 1,686 total players, 66 from Finland
  • PERCENTAGE: 3.9%

OILERS TOTAL PLAYERS/FINLAND PLAYERS DRAFTED BY YEAR AND TOTAL

  • 2015 NHL draft—6 total players, 0 from Finland
  • 2014 NHL draft—6 total players, 0 from Finland
  • 2013 NHL draft—10 total players, 0 from Finland
  • 2012 NHL draft–7 total players, 0 from Finland
  • 2011 NHL draft–9 total players, 2 from Finland
  • 2010 NHL draft–11 total players, 0 from Finland
  • 2009 NHL draft–7 total players, 1 from Finland
  • 2008 NHL draft–5 total players, 1 from Finland
  • FINAL TALLY: 61 total players, 4 from Finland
  • PERCENTAGE: 6.55%

As you can see, since 2008 Edmonton has chosen just four Finns, and that has been greater than league average. Don’t get excited—the picks have been depth selections and the results have not been outstanding.

THE FOUR FINNS

  • Teemu Hartikainen, who was my favorite in this group. Had a fine season in the KHL (54GP, 10-29-39) but he’s signed for one more year in the KHL now. He turns 26 this spring, so an NHL career appears to be a distant bell.
  • Toni Rajala, who had another solid year in the SHL (52GP, 17-15-32) but did not improve his performance year over year. He is 25 now, that brilliant season in OKC is a distant bell—but I remember it.
  • Samu Perhonen, played for two Sm-Liiga teams and posted save percentages of .916 and .913. Will play for yet another team this winter, not a good sign (three teams in two years) but the numbers seem fine.
  • Frans Tuohimaa, who is the last Finn selected by Edmonton—and that came in 2011. It has been a drought. Played well this year in the Allsvenskan—the second tier Swedish league—and hit .913. He will be back in the Sm-Liiga this fall with SaiPa.

TOP PLAYERS FROM FINLAND, 2016 DRAFT

  1. W Patrik Laine, Tappara (Sm-Liiga): Power W, pushing for No. 1 spot and has reached it on at least one scouting list. WHCs could be the difference.
  2. R Jesse Puljujarvi, Karpat (Sm-Liiga): Played very well in U18s and displays a nice range of skills. Perhaps shy of the top two offensively, he is a fast man with size and skill.
  3. C Janne Kuokkanen, Karpat (Fin Jr). Highly skilled C, good speed. Playmaker.
  4. C Kasper Bjorkqvist, Blues U20 (Jr. SML). He sure scores goals a lot.
  5. C Henrik Borgstrom, HIFK U20 (Jr. SML). Tall thin C with skill, plus shot. Heading to U. of Denver.
  6. LW Sebastian Repo, Pelicans (Sm-Liiga). Nice range of skills. Underrated.
  7. G Veini Vehvilainen, JYP (Fin 2). 26GP, 2.04 .925. Re-entry.
  8. C Otto Makinen, Tappara U20 (Jr. SML). Tall C with two way skills, could spike at the draft.
  9. G Niilo Halonen, Jokerit U20 (Jr. SML). Phenomenal numbers.
  10. L Mikko Juusola, Kalpa (Jr. SML). Speed winger with skill.
  11. D Tarmo Reunanen, TPS U20 (Jr. SML). Undersized puck mover.
  12. R Eetu Tuulola, HPK U20 (Jr. SML). Massive winger (6.03, 225) with some offense.
  13. C Aapeli Rasanen, Tappara U20 (Jr. SML). A fine prospect, good size and skill. Smart.
  14. C Joona Koppanen, Ilves U20 (Jr. SML). Huge (6.05) has two-way skills, a little shy offensively.
  15. R Otto Koivula, Ilves U20 (Jr. SML). Big W (6.04, 220) with great hands. Skating the issue.
  16. R Markus Nurmi, TPS Turku U20 (Jr. SML). Rangy winger with a good shot, he is tall, thin and probably a long way from what he will become.
  17. C Antti Kalapudas, Karpat (Sm-Liiga). Terrific skill, doesn’t play enough in the Sm-Liiga.
  18. D Niclas Almari, Blues U20 (Jr. SML). He can skate well, some chaos. Long range prospect.
  19. F Juha Jääskä, HIFK (Jr. SML). Can skate very well, may be shy offensively.

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29 Responses to "THE OILERS AND THE REPUBLIC OF FINLAND (2016 EDITION)"

  1. Rondo says:

    Juolevi?

  2. Rondo says:

    Lowetide,

    Yes he does.

    OT: Mikhail Sergachev-2016 named OHL Defenseman of the Year.

  3. Hockey Buddha says:

    Reflecting on our Fins from the past, we’ve had some great players from there during our dynasty years. More recently, it’s too bad Joensuu’s back couldn’t handle the style of game he played for us. I really liked what he brought to the table when he was healthy.

    I’m hoping for a top 3 pick tomorrow, but honestly, any pick in the top 5 will mean a quality addition. Laine has really piqued my interest more than any other player (the Lemieux comparisons), although I think positionally, teamwise, Sergachev is probably the best choice for what we need. I hope that the Oilers can get either player with their selection.

    I’ll be watching tomorrow, but I honestly can’t wait for these draft lottery days to be in the rear view mirror.

  4. bendelson says:

    For the second year in a row, I’ll be hoping the Oilers pick Sebastian Repo in the later rounds…
    A Finn, RH, 6’2″, and well… just a great hockey name (in truth, that in itself is enough isn’t it?)
    And I shall forever call the Repo man… Otto (of course).
    “A white suburban punk, just like me”.

  5. Mustard Tiger says:

    Puljujarvi scares me a little.

    Seems like Pajaarvi.. big winger with speed, no mention of physicality…and the name!

  6. Gerta Rauss says:

    bendelson,

    You eat a lot of acid Bendelson, back in the hippie days..?

  7. admiralmark says:

    Mustard Tiger:
    Puljujarvi scares me a little.

    Seems like Pajaarvi.. big winger with speed, no mention of physicality…and the name!

    Lowetide could you do a comparison of Pajaarvi his draft year with Puljujarvi? It does seem like there are similarities although Puljujarvi is coming with a far greater amount of fanfare.

  8. MrEd says:

    “Watch the flick of he stick…””

  9. Gerta Rauss says:

    I can’t stand Dallas but I’d like to see Hemsky have a deep playoff run

  10. spoiler says:

    Mustard Tiger:
    Puljujarvi scares me a little.

    Seems like Pajaarvi.. big winger with speed, no mention of physicality…and the name!

    He has what… nearly 4 times the PIMs that Laine has? When they say Laine is like Lemieux, they don’t mean he fought in Junior like Lemieux.

  11. Wolf Of Ross St says:

    Gerta Rauss:
    bendelson,

    You eat a lot of acid Bendelson, back in the hippie days..?

    Yes,
    wait; who’s Bendelson?
    hippies? Hope not

  12. Wolf Of Ross St says:

    bendelson:

    And I shall forever call the Repo man… Otto (of course).
    “A white suburban punk, just like me”.

    My name is Otto
    I Looovve to get Blotto!!

  13. prairieschooner says:

    I have not followed Laine much but here is his 9 playoff goals

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5U8vgRM9Gds

  14. SwedishPoster says:

    Mustard Tiger:
    Puljujarvi scares me a little.

    Seems like Pajaarvi.. big winger with speed, no mention of physicality…and the name!

    Very different players imo. Puljujärvi has a much bigger range of skills and has scored at a much higher rate through his career. If you compare their youth numbers the only year with somewhat similar scoring is their respective draft year but even then Puljujärvi looks better. Puljujärvi is more skilled, bigger, stronger, more physical, has a far far better shot, better vision. They are equal when it comes to skating and defensive play but I honestly don’t think they have much at all in common other than skating, name and both being born in Sweden(Puljujärvi was born in Sweden by finnish parents and they moved back to Finland at an early age).
    Pääjärvi was a fine prospect but I said when he came over that there were question marks about his offensive upside, he never was a natural scorer. Everything about Puljujärvi screams elite offensive upside and he’s had great numbers in every league and tournament he’s played. Hell everyone is buzzing over Laines amazing playoff performance, Puljujärvi had a higher ppg in the playoffs.

  15. Wolf Of Ross St says:

    SwedishPoster,

    That information sounds good and all. But I’d like to know what exactly makes you an expert on Swedish born players?

  16. Wolf Of Ross St says:

    Also:
    Happy draft lottery eve, one & all.
    Man, I am on fire tonight eh guys?
    Guys?

  17. Mustard Tiger says:

    SwedishPoster,

    Thanks for the awesome breakdown.

    Can’t help the irrational fear of ghosts of Oilers past.

  18. SwedishPoster says:

    Wolf Of Ross St,

    I have a video feed 24-7 of every active hockeyplayer born on swedish soil. They call me “The puck whisperer” or “A very creepy guy”.

  19. G Money says:

    Wolf Of Ross St:
    SwedishPoster,

    That information sounds good and all. But I’d like to know what exactly makes you an expert on Swedish born players?

    To understand how thoroughly SP studies players, especially European ones, you may want to (start) with SP’s’guest columnist’ draft analysis post last year here:

    https://oilersnerdalert.wordpress.com/2015/06/15/guest-columnist-the-most-thorough-draft-analysis-you-will-ever-read/

    There are a total of 6 columns I believe, all of them worth a read.

  20. SwedishPoster says:

    G Money,

    On that note, I’ve started to draw up both a follow up on the 2015 draft and also some stuff on this years draft as well, with some tweaks to the algorithm.
    Won’t be done in a few weeks but just a heads up if you’d be interested to publish it down the line.

  21. Wolf Of Ross St says:

    G Money,

    Ya, sorry Gmoney.
    Next time I’ll include haha on the end of my post. That way you’ll be able to tell its a joke, ?
    Soo… Book smarts hey?

  22. G Money says:

    SwedishPoster,

    You bet, looking forward to it!

  23. bendelson says:

    Gerta Rauss,

    No and jiminy crickets Gerta, I’m not that old.

  24. Romulus Apotheosis says:

    Had a dream about the lottery. The Oilers were to draft 6th (which is not possible). So… we’re gonna win tonight!

  25. meanashell11 says:

    prairieschooner,

    The thing that surprises me is how well the defensemen in Finland can move the puck. It seems his goals are either on the PP with a great pass by a D or on the rush set up by a puck moving D. Why dont we bring of those guys over as well!

  26. square_wheels says:

    SwedishPoster,

    Your 2015 summary G posted was my morning read……highlight was this :

    “Their production ranged from 0,26 to 1,53 though 7 of 9 (trekkie masturbation reference!!!) scored 0,52 or more”.

    Jeri Ryan …..Lordy.

  27. Gerta Rauss says:

    bendelson,

    lol

    in case you missed my reference

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76RWWl01JMc

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