Juuse Saros
Image: HPK

Juuse Saros

Hometown:

Hämeenlinna Finland

Currently Playing In:

Europe

Birthday:

1995-04-19

Position:

G

Eligible for draft:

2013

Catches:

Left

Drafted:

2013

Height:

5-10

Acquired:

4th round (99th overall), 2013

Weight:

181 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • C

History

2009-10: Juuse Saros played for the HPK U16 team in his hometown of Hameenlinna and was selected to play in the 2010 Pohjola Camp for the top U16 players in Finland.

2010-11: Saros appeared in 31 games for HPK U16 and received the Jukka Tammi Award as the top U16 goalie in Finland. In seven qualifying games for HPK he had a 1.86 goals against and .954 save percentage. Saros played 24 games during the regular season and was 13-10 with 2 shutouts, posting a 3.11 goals against and .933 save percentage. In three playoff games he was 0-3 with a 4.67 goals against and .919 save percentage. He appeared in two games with Finland’s U16 team.

2011-12: Saros led HPK to the U20 SM-Liiga semifinals, jumping from U16 to U20 after getting off to a fast start with HPK’s U18 team. He capped his season with a strong run in the U20 playoffs, finishing 6-4 with a 2.10 goals against and .937 save percentage and recorded 28 saves in HPK’s 5-3 win over KalPa in the bronze medal game. Saros played 32 of 48 games for HPK U20 during the regular season and was 20-10 with 2 shutouts; posting a 2.53 goals against and .910 save percentage. Saros opened the season with HPK U18 and was 7-1 in the qualifying series with 2 shutouts and a 1.25 goals against and .958 save percentage. In six regular season games he was 4-2 with a 1.48 goals against and .957. Saros was named to Team Finland’s for the 2012 U18 World Junior Championship but did not see any action.

2012-13: Saros was one of the top goalies in Finnish junior hockey, leading HPK to the first U20 SM-Liiga championship in club history, and backstopped Finland to a bronze medal at the 2013 U18 World Junior Championship in Sochi, Russia. In 43 games during the regular season he was 24-13 with 4 shutouts and had a 1.86 goals against and .933 save percentage. HPK rolled through the playoffs after finishing in first place, and Saros started all 11 games, finishing 9-2 with a 2.09 goals against and .923 save percentage. At the U18 WJC, he started all seven games for Finland, including the 2-1 bronze medal game win over Russia, and was 5-2 with a 1.86 goals against and .946 save percentage. Saros was the top rated European goaltender in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2013 NHL Draft.

2013-14: Saros made a smooth transition from junior hockey to pro hockey in Finland— capturing the starter’s role for HPK Hameenlinna and winning the Jarmo Wasama Award as the top rookie in Liiga — and backstopped the Finland U20 team to a gold medal. He was 16-16-8 with seven shutouts and had a 1.76 goals-against average and .928 save percentage in 44 regular season games. Saros started all six playoff games for HPK and was 2-4 with a 2.29 goals against and .903 save percentage. In six games at the World Junior Championship he had a 1.57 goals against and .943 save percentage.

 

Talent Analysis

Juuse Saros lacks the height of other top goaltending prospects but he is a technically adept goaltender that uses angles and outstanding athleticism to compensate for that perceived shortcoming. His biggest strengths include his ability to compete, his penchant for stopping second and third chance opportunities, and the mental composure to quickly put goals behind him. Saros has the strength, durability and stamina to play every night, having played over 50 games in back-to-back seasons over the past two years.

 

Future

Saros will skate with the Finland U20 team in Lake Placid in August and will likely be in net for the 2015 World Junior Championship. He has yet to sign with the Predators and will likely spend at least one more season with HPK in Finland before coming over to North America. Extremely advanced for a goalie of his age, he has won championships both domestically and internationally at the junior levels — often while under heavy pressure. Questions about his size remain but he has the outlook and technical game to one day be a successful starter.

 

Nashville Predators stash prospect depth throughout NCAA and Europe

by Tony Piscotta
on

Photo: courtesy of Terry Wilson/CHL Images

Photo: Nashville prospect Vladislav Kamenev had just one goal in the KHL playoffs as Metallurg failed to defend its Gagarin Cup title (courtesy of Terry Wilson/CHL Images)

 

Although the top prospects in the Nashville Predators organization currently skate for AHL affiliate Milwaukee, there are many players competing at the NCAA level or in European leagues this season.
The distance from North American professional hockey is telling in some cases, but there is no lack of quality prospects in the two different developmental venues.

Read more»

Saros, Husso the top NHL-drafted goaltenders competing in Finland

by Tony Piscotta
on

Juuse Saros - Team Finland

Photo: HPK Hameenlinna goaltender and Nashville Predators prospect Juuse Saros has appeared in 39 international contests for Finland over the past five seasons (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

 

Finland has consistently produced NHL-caliber goalies in recent years. While some were never drafted and signed after establishing themselves in the domestic Liiiga — such as Chicago’s Antti Raanta or Antti Niemi of San Jose — there have also been some high profile draft picks like Tuukka Rask and Pekka Rinne who are enjoying great NHL careers. Read more»

Kevin Fiala takes over the top spot in the Nashville Predators Top 20

by Tony Piscotta
on

Photo: Nashville's top prospect Kevin Fiala is nearly a point-per-game in the AHL since arriving in Milwaukee. (courtesy of Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)

Photo: Nashville’s top prospect Kevin Fiala is scoring nearly a point-per-game in the AHL since arriving in Milwaukee. (courtesy of Dennis Pajot/Getty Images)

 

Filip Forsberg’s Calder Trophy-caliber campaign has pushed Nashville to the top of the NHL standings, making his the most notable graduation of the season. Add to that the trade that sent Brendan Leipsic to the Leafs, Patrick Cehlin’s return to Sweden, and solid pro seasons for Calle Jarnkrok and Taylor Beck, and the result is a shake-up in Nashville’s Top 20.

Read more»

2015 WJC Review: Finland turns in disappointing follow-up to last year’s gold

by Tony Piscotta
on

Mikko Rantanen - Team Finland - 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship

Photo: Team Finland forward and 2015 prospect Mikko Rantanen is ranked second among European skaters in NHL Central Scouting’s midterm rankings for the 2015 NHL Draft (courtesy of Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

 

In retrospect, the expectations that Finland might be able to match its gold medal-winning performance from the 2014 World Junior Championship were probably overly optimistic. Struggling to score goals through the entire 2015 edition of this tournament, the defending champions finished seventh after falling to rival Sweden, 6-3, in the quarterfinal round. Read more»

2015 WJC Preview: Finland looks to repeat last year’s gold medal performance

by Tony Piscotta
on

Julius Honka - Texas Stars

Photo: Texas Stars defenseman and Dallas Stars prospect Julius Honka will be a key piece of Finland’s defensive unit at the 2015 U20 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire)

 

When the 2014 World Junior Championship tournament started there were few “experts” who would have picked Finland to emerge with the gold medal. With Canada a heavy favorite as the home team and many of the stars from last year’s Finland squad having moved on, that is once again the case at the 2015 U20 World Junior Championship. Read more»

Related Articles