Joonas Rask
Image: Jokerit

Joonas Rask

Hometown:

Savonlinna Finland

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1990-03-24

Position:

C

Eligible for draft:

2009

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

2010

Height:

5-11

Acquired:

7th round (198th overall), 2010

Weight:

180 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • C

History

2007-08: Joonas Rask spent the majority of the season with Ilves's U20 squad, posting 29 points (11g+18a) in 32 games. He was also selected to Finland's U18 squad for the WJC, where he recorded a goal and four assists in six games.  Passed over in the 2008 draft.

2008-09: Rask was considered by some to be the top forward prospect coming out of Finland headed into the 2008 NHL draft yet he was not selected. Like some of the other young forwards in Ilves, he had a rocky first season, though he did make his SM-Liiga debut and spent the majority of the year with the men’s team. But in a minor role he had just one goal and one assist in 27 games including the playoffs. Playing with the Finland’s junior team – both at the WJC and in the Mestis exhibition schedule – he was able to display his playmaking ability and offensive flourish. While his ice time in games was limited, particularly in power play and high profile situations, the fact that he spent the year training with and facing older, more experienced players could be a plus.

2009-10: Rask spent a majority of his season with Ilves in Finland's SM-liiga, appearing in 43 games with 10 goals, 9 assists for 19 points. He added 3 goals in 5 relegation playoff games with Ilves. Rask also played 2 scoreless regular season games for the Ilves U20 squad and scored 2 goals, 2 assists in 4 playoff games with the junior team. He was an alternate captain for Finland's U20 team at the WJC, where he scored 2 goals in 6 games.

2010-11: Rask skated in all 60 games for Ilves as a 20-year-old, playing a strong two-way game with a surprising offensive touch. Rask's +4 plus/minus was the team's second best and his 14 goals trailed only former Oilers prospect Jesse Niinimaki's 17 for the team lead. Rask also had 13 assists and 18 PMs. Ilves finished 10th in the 14-team league, avoiding the relegation playoffs.

2011-12: Rask struggled through an injury-filled campaign on an Ilves team that finished last in Finland's 14-team SM-Liiga. He scored 4 goals with 14 assists in 32 games and was minus-four with 12 penalty minutes.  Ilves defeated Mestis champion Vaasa Sport in a relegation series to maintain its spot in the SM-Liiga. Rask scored 2 goals with 2 assists and was plus-one with two penalty minutes in the five games against Sport. Rask signed a two-year contract with the Predators in March 2012 and signed an SM-Liiga contract to play for Jokerit in 2012-13.

2012-13: Rask made his NHL debut with Nashville – playing in two April contests for the Predators and also played in the AHL with Milwaukee following a season with Jokerit in Finland's SM-Liiga. Rask had 1 assist and was -1; averaging eight minutes of ice time with Nashville. Rask played his first pro game in North America with Milwaukee — scoring a goal with an assist in the Admirals 6-4 win over Charlotte on April 19th. He played one game in the Admirals' playoff series with Texas and was -1 with no points nor penalty minutes. Rask remained in Finland during the NHL lockout to skate for Jokerit. In 52 games he scored 5 goals with 5 assists and had an even plus/minus with 6 penalty minutes. Jokerit finished first in the regular season but lost to tenth-placed Lukko in the playoff quarterfinals. Rask was scoreless in two playoff games.

 

Talent Analysis

Rask is a technically skilled hockey player with excellent skating ability typical of the forwards developed in the Ilves junior program. The versatile forward can play as both a center and winger while being very useful on both power play and penalty kill. The Finnish-born winger is not a particularly physical player and needs to increase his strength to play at the pro level in North America. While his skill level and hockey sense are good, Rask must prove he is willing to compete in small spaces and be more physical to become a legitimate NHL prospect.

 

Future

Joonas Rask, brother of Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask, is just now starting to creep into the AHL and NHL after heading over from the Finnish Liiga in 2012-13. He was able to cut it on the bottom lines of Jokerit and win a spot so the competitive nature of that should help him in the AHL. However with a skill set more suited for the top six rather than the bottom, it is hard to see him having a long term place on the Preds regular lineup.

 

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