— Shnarped Hockey (@shnarped) December 26, 2014
Mikko Rantanen is a quality two-way winger who played in a top pro league (SM-Liiga) at age 18. His output in the Finnish elite league (56GP, 9-19-28) suggests real offensive ability.
How good is Mikko Rantanen?
Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects:An
exceptionally talented playmaker and always a consistent threat on the
ice; Rantanen is a combination of elite-level hockey sense, silky smooth
hands, and nimble skating. Needs to improve his shot and physical play,
as he doesn’t take advantage of his size in many situations.
All-in-all, an intelligent, big-bodied forward that oozes skill.
Goran Stubb, NHL director of European Scouting: “He’s a big, strong and mobile power forward that is always a consistent
threat on the ice,” Stubb said. “He has a combination of hockey sense,
smooth hands and an explosive shot. He probably could take better
advantage of his size (6-foot-4, 209 pounds) and strength, but overall
he’s a smart, two-way forward with good decision-making, reliable and a
hard competitor.” Source
Kelly Friesen, Buzzing the Net: He is regarded as Finland’s top 2015 draft prospect and a potential
first-round pick. In his second season in the SM-liiga, he has shown off
his top-notch playmaking abilities and hockey sense while potting a
goal and 10 points in 30 contests. The biggest knock on Rantanen is that
he doesn’t’ take advantage of his 6-foot-3, 194-pound frame as he’s not
a physical player. Source
- He patterns his style of play after Ryan Getzlaf of the Anaheim Ducks and Mikko Koivu of the Minnesota Wild. Source
Future Considerations: A strong three-zone playmaker who is also defensively responsible…has an
awkward upright skating stride, but gets from Point A to Point B just
fine…not a big ”wow” factor to his game, but is a smooth, fluid,
big-bodied forward who can be hard to handle…uses his strength and
reach, along with his vision and hands, to protect the puck…has good
instincts when to pass and when to hold…puck seems to follow him around
the ice…good in his own zone and consistently makes himself available
for a breakout pass…has impressive hockey sense and awareness…needs to
work on his shot and add more muscle mass to his growing frame. Source
— NHL Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) April 22, 2015
WHERE WILL HE GO?
The reports above conflict quite a bit (we see power forward mentioned but also read about his lack of physical play, despite size) and that may mean players like Lawson Crouse and Pavel Zacha are taken higher.
On the other hand, this is a splendid scouting report and he’s clearly a substantial talent. If Rantanen develops fully in terms of offense, a team drafting him could end up with a 1line winger who can help in all three disciplines, including the ability to outscore opponents at evens.
If Mikko Rantanen goes inside the top six overall, that’s probably a reach, but after that you could make a case for Rantanen being the best player on the board. Anything after No. 12 and he’s exceptional value.
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