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Patrik Laine Is Now New Front Runner To Auston Matthews

Posted By: Melissa Scanladi on 3/11/2016

My name is Melissa Scanladi and I'll be covering NHL Draft content in Scandinavia for the Elitserien league in Sweden and SM Liiga league in Finland. First, I discussed Carl Grundstrom the top prospect in the Elitserien league. Last time, I mentioned how Jesse Puljujarvi Today, I'm going to talk about Patrik Laine, who is now the top prospect in Finland.

Jesse Puljujari was the top prospect in Finland heading into the season. The one thing scouts are pointing out is that his shooting power is weak compared to Laine.

Patrik Laine has the size at 6-4 210 lbs. Laine has the shooting power, shooting accuracy, awareness on both offense and defense, and is a big body. He's versatile enough to play left wing or right wing.

Laine can win face offs despite lining up on the wing if the puck comes his way. Laine may be able to play center as well as left wing and right wing. He doesn't have that explosion you want when skating, but he's versatile and agile. He will play fast enough to keep up with defensemen in the NHL, but he won't blow you away with his speed to the point where he's constantly generating one-on-one breakaways.

Laine has jumped Puljujarvi on most NHL Draft boards. Still both players from the SM Liiga league should be top 3 picks in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft when June rolls around.

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