Catching up with Finnish prospects Waltteri Hopponen and Joel Kiviranta

by Chapin Landvogt
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Waltteri Hopponen - Finland

Photo: Espoo Blues right wing and 2014 prospect Waltteri Hopponen was chosen 10th overall at the 2013 CHL Import Draft by the WHL’s Everett Silvertips (courtesy of Martin Rose/Getty Images)

 

Hailing from the Espoo Blues organization stationed right outside of Helsinki, the 6’1”, 180-pound left winger Waltteri Hopponen most recently represented Team Finland at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament that took place in Breclav, Czech Republic and Piestany, Slovakia. Waltteri spoke to Hockey’s Future for a few moments after a 5-1 victory over Slovakia at the Ivan Hlinka.

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Finland 2013 draft review

by Tony Piscotta
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Artturi Lehkonen - Montreal Canadiens

Photo: KalPa Kuopio forward Artturi Lehkonen is expected to eventually bring some offensive skill to the team that drafted him, the Montreal Canadiens (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

 

Forward Aleksander Barkov was the top-ranked prospect among skaters from Europe in the 2013 NHL Draft according to Central Scouting, so his being picked early in the draft did not come as a complete surprise.

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Top European prospect Barkov looking to become known commodity in NHL

by Tony Piscotta
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Aleksander Barkov - Finland

Photo: Tappara forward Aleksander Barkov has proven his game against men in the Sm-Liiga, and now looks to test his abilities in North America (courtesy of Yury Kuzmin/KHL Photo Agency via Getty Images)

 

For most North American hockey fans, the top prospects in this year's NHL Draft, Halifax Mooseheads forwards Nathan MacKinnon and Jonathan Drouin, and Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones, are well known commodities.

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Barkov, Ristolainen likely first rounders among Finland’s 2013 prospects

by Tony Piscotta
on
2013 NHL Draft - Aleksander Barkov

Photo: Tappara forward Aleksander Barkov should be the highest drafted Finnish player since Mikael Granlund was chosen ninth overall in 2010 (courtesy of Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

 

The number of players drafted from Finland will likely never again reach the record numbers prior to the 2004-05 NHL lockout. Since that time, NHL clubs have tended to see how players from Finland and other European countries develop and then sign them as free agents rather than drafting youngsters.

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Jones taking potential Avalanche snub in stride

by Tony Piscotta
on

Seth Jones - Portland Winterhawks

Photo: Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones and his fellow 2013 NHL Draft top prospects have been kept busy on Draft Weekend with various events in the NYC/NJ area (courtesy of Rich Schultz/Getty Images)

 

For much of the 2012-13 season, Portland Winterhawks defenseman Seth Jones was considered the consensus top prospect in the upcoming 2013 NHL Draft. With the Colorado Avalanche holding the top pick it appeared to be a foregone conclusion that Jones would be heading to Denver, where his father once played professional basketball and where Seth first started playing hockey.

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