Once clearly the second best forward of the country’s draft class, Salonen’s stock has been declining slowly in the few years prior to drafting. His tricky birthdate just barely stripped him of his U18 eligibility in 2004, which left him without a major international appearance in his draft year. His numbers improved little with HIFK Jr A between 2001-02 and 2003-04.
Salonen left HIFK for the weaker Pelicans team in 2004.
Salonen boasts notable offensive potential with great speed and good hands to boot. His main weakness in the offense is his shot, which isn't up to NHL standards yet. While he isn't particularly strong even for a player of his size, he doesn't shy away from physical play and can be downright mean at times. Salonen's defensive game is average for now. He will need a lot of time to improve his weaknesses and to find the final form of his style of play.