Here’s my analysis and scouting report for Leafs draftee Veeti Miettinen. If you’re interested, check out the full article here.
Drafted: Round 6, 168th overall
Age: Turned 19 on September 20th
Weight: 159 lbs
2019-20 Season: 42g/31a/73p in 52 games with Kiekko-Espoo U20 (Jr. A SM-Liiga) 2020-21 Season as of October 7th: Will start season with St. Cloud State University
Projected Draft Position: Late-Second Round to Early-Fourth Round
How do you let a guy like Veeti Miettinen fall so far? That’s probably what Leafs scouts thought when the Finnish winger fell into their lap in the sixth round.
Miettinen led Finland’s top junior hockey league in points this season. He just turned 19, so maybe you could attribute that to age, right? Well, he finished 4th in that league the year prior as a 17-year-old, behind guys who were at least a year older than him.
One thing you’ll notice about Miettinen very quickly: The kid just RIPS it. No regard for any human life whatsoever, he just blasts it to the next dimension. You give him an inch of room and he just absolutely sends it. Right circle, left circle, from the slot, doesn’t matter.
He’s also a great, fast skater. His shot, his speed, and his high effort level became a terrifying team last season.
He’s not afraid to go to the net at all either, he uses his speed and vision to get those net-front goals when needed.
For someone with such a lethal shot, Miettinen is a great playmaker. Some of his assists come from his shots being tipped in or a rebound from his shots, but he’s actually a brilliant puck-mover. When he knows he’s in a tough spot, he’s able to find a teammate in a better area.
This makes him such a difficult player to contain, do you limit the pass or the shot? He can do both!
Defensively, although he lacks in size, his work ethic makes sure that he’s not just a non-factor in his own end. His skating and ability to read the play so well makes him a force on the other end as well.
Still, I do want to see him bulk up. I think that his lack in size is what’s going to limit him at the next level, as opposed to his tools carrying over. Miettinen is set to begin the season with St. Cloud State University, which may be the perfect transition point for him. He’ll have to adjust to NA ice and stronger competition, but it’s not like he’ll be thrown into the water, smaller players have room to succeed in the NCAA.
I finally broke, I’m giving this pick an A+. Miettinen is an amazing value pick for the 6th round, and he has a lot of potential.
He isn’t a “star or nothing” player, but I think how he does in the NHL all depends on how he progresses in the NCAA. He needs to be able to gain strength and muscle without sacrificing his quickness and deceptiveness. If he’s able to, he’s brimming with top-6 potential. If he does reach that point, he’ll likely be a force on the Leafs’ second line. His work ethic and talent just make him such a brilliant bet here.
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