Photo: Finland's current top prospect for the 2013 NHL Draft, Aleksandr Barkov, will skate for Tappara Tampere of the SM-liiga in the 2012-13 season (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The 2011-12 SM-Liiga season was one of opportunity for several young players – as the continued exodus of top flight veterans from the Finnish national league to the KHL or North America allowed some of the top Finnish juniors to make an impact with their respective clubs.
Photo: Belleville Bulls defenseman Jordan Subban was one of the top performers for Canada's gold medal team at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Tournament (courtesy of Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
The annual Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament, considered by some to be the most prestigeous international hockey competition of players under eighteen years of age, was held last week in Břeclav, Czech Republic, and Piešťany, Slovakia. And as is usually the case in the world of hockey, some results and statistics were simply surprising.
Photo: Ville Pokka could be the first Finnish trained defenseman to be selected in the 2012 NHL Draft. (Ken McKenna/HF)
The country of Finland has produced several top-notch goalies and a wealth of talented young forwards in the past few seasons. The same cannot be said of the defenseman position – though that could change with the upcoming draft.
Photo: Finnish forward Teuvo Teravainen has been climbing the ranks of the 2012 NHL Draft prospects (courtesy of Zuma Press/Icon SMI)
Teuvo Teravainen’s stock for the 2012 NHL Draft has risen faster than he can skate a lap around an international-sized ice rink. And if we are to believe what scouts are saying about the latter, that’s faster than most of the prospects available in this year’s crop of future hockey stars.
Photo: Talented Finnish winger Teuvo Teravainen experienced a steady climb up the draft rankings during the 2011-12 season (courtesy of Ken McKenna/HF)
Finnish forward Teuvo Teravainen has experienced a slow, steady climb up the 2012 draft prospect charts, to the point where the Helsinki, Finland native is considered a legitimate top 10 selection for the coming NHL Draft.