Two Winnipeg Jets prospects will be attending the 2020 World Junior Championship in the Czech Republic. In this article, we are going to take a look at past stats, draft positions and do a quick player analysis of each of the players.
Weight: 181 lbs
Draft: 2019, 1st round, 20th overall, Winnipeg Jets.
Current team: Lukko (Liiga)
Winnipeg Jets/ 8gp/ 1G/ 4A/ 5pts/
Manitoba Moose/ 3gp/ 0g/ 1A/ 1 pts/
Lukko/ 11gp/ 0G/ 1A/ 1pts/
Expected to be a top-pairing defenseman for Finland, Ville Heinola has all the tools and skills to be an extremely effective player for the Finnish team this World Juniors. This is the second time that he will suit up at the U-20 World Junior Championship and in a prominent role with the Finns. He also played as the top pair staple where he scored one goal and added an assist in the run for gold.
The Finns are going to ice a very different team this year and will be relying on Heinola to help supplement the offense from the back end. Lundell is expected to miss the entirety of the tournament. To any team that would be a heavy blow. Team Finland is now going to have to find another way to score without one of if not their top forward and I believe that effort is going to have to come from the back end.
We can expect Heinola to be the top d-man 5-on-5, working a power play as the point-man or eating minutes during a penalty kill. He’s “the man” when it comes to the Finnish team in this year’s World Junior tournament. Jets fans are going to experience Heinola at the full value this year. The smooth-skating d-man is going to impress a lot of fans. Be excited Jets nation, this kid is the real deal.
Draft: 2018, 2nd round, 60th overall, Winnipeg Jets.
Current team: Winnipeg Jets
Winnipeg Jets/ 22gp/ 1G/ 0A/ 1pts/
Sweden boasts one of, if not the best d-corp in the World Junior tournament, but their offense leaves a big question mark. David Gustafsson is going to come into it as a returnee from last year’s squad. Coming off of a three-point campaign last go-around he will be relied on for offense again. But, he brings so much more than that, and he will to the World Junior Championship.
He is a reliable two-way center that is defensively sound and can also help create offense when need be. He isn’t a world-beater by any extent with his skill set or tools in his toolbox. But, he has certain aspects that are great for moving the puck. He’s hard on the puck down low and will find a simple pass to continue a cycle or find an open man to keep the play moving. Gustafsson’s forechecking ability will be what ultimately helps generate offense for him and his linemates.
Without a doubt, just because of the roster breakdown Gustafsson will be a top-six forward on the team. He may even get a crack at the top line. Depending on how lines mesh, he may be seeing a lot of quality ice time with quality line-mates.
What we should expect from Gustafsson is a hard-nosed effort. He won’t be blowing anyone out of the water but watch for him to wreak havoc on the opposition. He’s a tough player to play against. For the Jets fans, you’ve already got a decent sample size from him. But give him time. He made the Jets as a 19-year-old. He’s doing something right, he will continue to work on those skills that won him a roster spot and blossom into an effective NHL player.
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