By Eetu Siltanen
The best U18 players of Finland (excluded Liiga players) gathered to play two intrasquad games in Vierumäki at the start of February and it was really interesting. Both of the games needed overtime and the first one even went to a shootout. I wanted to share my thoughts on the camp’s players with our readers.
Best defenders of the camp in my books were Viljami Juusola (2021), Aleksi Heimosalmi (2021), Jimi Suomi (2021), Otto Salin (2022) and Kasper Kulonummi (2022).
Juusola (LDH) was already really good in U20 SM-sarja in autumn but didn’t really get the role he wanted in Kärpät so he left to Sweden. Now, he showed some good mobility, on-puck skills, and his specialty, precise passing game. He was easily the best defender in the 2nd game and the 2nd best in camp overall.
Aleksi Heimosalmi (RHD) is one of the most interesting prospects of this year’s Finnish class. He showed great on-puck skills along with excellent mobility and was also good defensively. He also possesses good passing skills. He played very well in both games, notching a total of three points. He was the best defender of the camp overall in my books.
Jimi Suomi (LHD) was supposed to leave for USHL this season, but due to Covid-19, he stayed in Finland to play for Jokerit U20. He’s been solid in U20 SM-sarja and played well in the camp. The undersized offensive defender showed great mobility and on-puck skills along with a good passing game but defending can be pretty hard for him because of his small size.