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Photo Credit: NHL.com

2021 NHL Draft Countdown No. 80-76: Jimi Suomi, Red Savage, Robert Orr, Aleksi Heimosalmi, Matthew Knies

Welcome to OilersNation’s 2021 Draft Countdown, powered by FCHockey.

Over the next few weeks leading up to the draft, we’ll be rounding up scouting reports, quotes, and videos about the Top-100 prospects available. Here are aggregated profiles on Jimi Suomi, Red Savage, Robert Orr, Aleksi Heimosalmi, and Matthew Knies.

No. 80: Jimi Suomi

Date of Birth: March 1, 2003

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Nation: Finland

Position: Defence

Shoots: Left

Height: 5’9″

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Weight: 152 lbs

“Suomi is a dangerous player with the puck on his stick. He’s an excellent skater with both explosive acceleration and quick speed that allow him to jump into the rush and become an instant offensive threat. With his vision, skating and passing ability he excels in running Finland’s powerplay. Suomi had two assists in this game and both came on the man advantage. Offensively, he’s a mutli-dimensional player. He doesn’t rely on one form of attack and can create for himself or his teammates. Defensively he can struggle because of his size, early in the game he lost a 50-50 puck battle deep in his defensive zone and it directly resulted in the Czech’s opening goal. Suomi has boom or bust potential, you can tell when he’s confident because he commands the puck and drives his team’s play offensively like he did in this game. His size may cause some teams to hesitate on drafting him high, but he should make an excellent Day 2 pick at the NHL Draft.” – Austin Broad

No. 79: Red Savage

Date of Birth: May 15, 2003

Nation: United States

Position: Centre 

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Shoots: Left

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 181 lbs

“Savage continues to prove that he will be a coach’s favorite, and someone you can rely on every single game. He’s not the flashiest player, but he gets the job done. Consistently out battling opponents, winning puck battles, finishing checks, and playing a defense-first minded game. Savage has a long and powerful stride that he uses effectively on the forecheck and backcheck. He has good straight-line speed and is also strong on his edges, being able to adapt to plays quickly. He makes smart decisions on when he should shoot or hold off to wait for a different option. He had a great chance on a one-timer, but it seems like he didn’t get all of the power he wanted on it, resulting in the goalie making a nice pad save. On one play he was able to make a strong zone entry from his own zone coming in with good speed, he took a shot that got blocked, but then picks up the loose puck and skates the perimeter to find his open defenseman, to then try and get open again, displaying his strong motor and hunger for the puck. He was effective on both sides of the puck, playing a responsible defensive game, and battling hard for pucks, while also using his vision to consistently know where his teammates are to make quick efficient passes in all three zones. He did an excellent job at angling off opponents along the boards to shut them down and takeaway possession, using his body positioning very effectively. He was also very noticeable on the PK, actively using his stick to take away passing lanes and staying in strong positioning to block shots and minimize chances. I am very confident that Savage will be an effective player in the NHL, but his upside is still in question.” – Dylan Krill 

No. 78: Robert Orr

Date of Birth: September 1, 2003

Nation: Canada

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Position: Centre

Shoots: Left

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 176 lbs

“Orr is a center that plays with a lot of speed. He is a very good skater, with good speed and agility, and that helps him in his forechecking and backchecking game. In both these aspects of the game, he uses his skating, his stick, and his body, to takeaway a lot of pucks. His transition play is also very good, as he uses his skating, agility, passing, and stickhandling ability to exit his zone, and enter the offensive zone with ease. Orr showed that he has some very good hands that can follow the speed of his feet. He might keep the puck on his stick a bit too much, though, because he did make some questionable decisions at times with the puck on his stick that led to turnovers, or that stopped potential scoring chances from happening, but I do like that he plays with confidence, and can show some decent creativity. He can move the puck around very well in the offensive zone with some nice passes; he just needs to choose his moments better, and work on his decision making with the puck. Another aspect that Orr could work on is his overall scoring ability. He does have a good shot, and he did get a goal with a nice shot from the high slot, but he needs to release it quickly and find some more power. I also felt that at times, he took some weak backhand shots and missed some chances to attack the net with his forehand. Having said that, I liked how he attacks the slot, and how he gets his scoring chances; I just feel there is more to see from Orr in his goalscoring ability. In his zone, Orr needs to work on his positioning, as he was not always in the right place, but I did like how he approached forwards with his body and stick in this game.” – Theo Lambert

No. 77: Aleksi Heimosalmi

Date of Birth: May 8, 2003

Nation: Finland

Position: Defence

Shoots: Right

Height: 5’11”

Weight: 154 lbs

“Heimosalmi has steadily risen up draft boards throughout the year and looks to be making a name for himself early in the U18s by flashing some offense and strong positional play against better competition than he saw in Finnish juniors. Heimosalmi is a very agile skater who shows good edgework and the ability to change directions quickly. While his stride is somewhat rigid and upright, limiting how much power he generates in his stride, he has solid escapability in his own zone and is adept at sensing forechecking pressure and moving the puck to open space with a quick turn or outlet pass. He possesses above-average puckhandling skill for a defender, showing some bursts of effectiveness carrying the puck in transition, but he’s still somewhat passive when jumping into the offense. Shows a great understanding of when to pinch in the offensive zone and when to defer to defense, so there might be more offensive production as he moves up the ladder. Heimosalmi already shows signs of being a quality one-on-one defender on the rush, timing when to close the gap well and showing a pesky active stick to break up moves to the inside. Isn’t overly aggressive or physical in his own zone but will stand his ground and use his stick in physical battles when needed. While he doesn’t seem to possess enough explosiveness in his stride or offensive upside to be a top-pairing player, he has all the tools necessary to be a supporting defender who can help out on both special teams.” – Joseph Aleong

No. 76: Matthew Knies

Date of Birth: October 17, 2002

Nation: United States

Position: Left Wing

Shoots: Left

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 205 lbs

“Knies showed a bit of flash in this game with the puck on his stick, but outside of that I was left wanting quite a bit more from him. In the offensive zone, Knies has the puck on a string and can utilize solid deception with his feet to evade opponents and find open ice. He’s great at stickhandling in tight spaces and creating space for his teammates and then finding them with a nice short pass. This seems to be a constant state for Knies though, he seems to rarely much time and space with the puck other than on the man advantage. This makes me concerned for his ability to see the play at a higher level and get himself into better positions on the ice to receive the puck. Off the puck is where I have even bigger concerns about how he processes the game. The defensive game is a big area of growth for Knies as he floats around the defensive zone and the neutral zone, just barely getting sticks in lanes and inconsistently at that. This lack of being able to generate anything meaningful on either side of the puck without the puck worries me about how transferable his puck skills will even be at the next level. For that reason, I can’t see Knies as more than at best a depth scoring option at the NHL level unless he can start stacking his skills and finding more space for himself off the puck to be better in his support of his teammates.” –