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Flyers 2013 Draft Prospect Profile: D Rasmus Ristolainen

Background

Ristolainen representing his native Finland (via Hockeys Future)

Name: Rasmus Ristolainen

Position: Defenceman (Shoots: Right)

Height: 6’3″

Weight: 207 lbs.

League: SM-liiga

Team: TPS (Turun Palloseura)

Strengths

This October, Rasmus Ristolainen was in the top 4 of the prospect rankings. although he has slipped, this two-way defenseman is a very good prospect. Playing in SM-liiga, Rasmus has played among men, logging big minutes against top players. Ristolainen is an above average skater who is solid in all 3 zones. Possibly the most NHL-ready defenseman, Rasmus has played among men, logging big minutes against top players playing in the SM-liiga. Possessing a heavy shot, he could potentially be a very useful weapon on the powerplay. Although he won’t be looking for the giant hit all of the time, Rasmus Ristolainen is no stranger to physical play, excelling in tying up men in fron of the net.

Breakdown

  • Expierenced
  • NHL-ready
  • Above average skater
  • Heavy shot
  • Uses his size effectively
  • Long, active stick

Weaknesses

While Rasmus Ristolainen is very solid defensively, he is not the most dynamic in the offensive zone. Ristolainen is a 25 point player at best, unless he greatly improves his offensive game. Although this is not bad, it is not mind-boggling.

Breakdown

  • Not great offensively
  • Could have a hard time transitioning to a north-american style of play

What are scouts saying?

“Ristolainen had a quality season in Finland, where he often logged tough, heavy minutes for TPS. That is an impressive role for an 18-year-old defenseman in that league. He is not a flashy player, but he does everything well. He best skill is his hockey sense. He thinks the game at a level well beyond his years, and he does not make many mistakes on the ice. He is an aware, effective defenseman who can close gaps with his body or with his stick. With the puck, he shows calmness, but he can process the game quickly when the situation calls for it. He can man the point on the power play. He is a solid to above-average skater (I have heard an NHL scout classify him as high end in that area). His puck handling is at a similar level; he can flash significant offensive ability, but the bulk of value will come from his work in his own zone. To that point, he will lay the body, and he can provide quality hits. He could fast track to the NHL quicker than a typical defense prospect.” – Corey Pronman, Hockey Prospectus

“An ISS favorite for several years now, Ristolainen is about as safe of a prospect as you could ask for. He is already huge, skates extremely well, is confident and poised around the puck and understands his limitations. He plays a good physical style and doen’st back down from anyone but is rarely over-aggressive. He calculates the game very well. Ristolainen makes a great first pass, distributes the puck effectively from the point and can also get the puck to the net very well from the back end. He is not afraid to put it all on the line for his team, playing tough and gritty when need be. He is the type of player coaches love to see in their lineup.” – International Scouting Services

Highlights

Should The Flyers Draft Ristolainen?

Yes. Rasmus Ristolainen is exactly what the Flyers are looking for: a big defenseman who can move the puck. If available, take him.

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Categories: Beat Writing, Flyers

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