Juutilainen stood out early as a junior in his age group, which features little star power. He was a national team key player from the start, leading the country in international scoring in U17 in 2004-05. Juutilainen has advanced through the junior ranks of Jokerit where his development in domestic rinks hasn’t been awfully fast. His 2005-06 season was a disappointment in terms of points, but he ended the season on a very positive note as the captain of Finland’s silver medal team in the U18 World Championships.
2007-08: Juutilainen played with the Waterloo Black Hawks (USHL) last season, recording 13 points in 44 regular season games. However, he stepped up his performance in the playoffs, as he registered four goals and two assists in 11 post-season games. His six playoff points were tied for sixth on the team.
Juutilainen is a traditional finesse center. His shooting bias varies a lot, and he can go from the team's top finisher to the number one playmaker. He can make and receive difficult passes and is rather adept at handling the puck in small spaces. His offensive instinct is undeniable, but at this point he is physically immature and average in the realm of defensive play. His skating isn't on par with most skill-oriented forwards of the NHL, but physical training alone may enable him to move faster more consistently. Juutilainen has a fair bit of leadership in him, which also helps him push himself to become a better player. Not many players have talent like his.
Juutilainen, who initially committed to the University of Nebraska-Omaha, left North America to play in Finland for the 2008-09 season.
Photo: The Minnesota Wild have signed their top offensive prospect, Mikael Granlund. HF also has the Finnish star ranked among the top 10 NHL prospects (courtesy of Vincent Muzik/Icon SMI)
The Minnesota Wild took a major step toward improving their club from within with the signing of their top prospect, Mikael Granlund. Granlund is considered by some to be the top prospect currently playing outside of the NHL.