Photo courtesy of https://www.kaleva.fi/
Almost every professional hockey league has been forced to adapt this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Liiga is no exception. In December, the league was postponed for over two weeks, and since then all players have been required to wear ‘fishbowl’ visors to lower in-game transmission rates. With that being said, it’s one of the leagues that’s given us the most consistent prospect viewings as we navigate these unprecedented times.
For February’s Liiga report, I watched some tape on Coyotes prospect Matias Maccelli, Maple Leafs prospect Topi Niemelä, and 17-year-old Brad Lambert.
Drafted 98th overall by the Coyotes in 2019, Maccelli isn’t necessarily a highly regarded prospect. With that being said, Maccelli is a highly-skilled, undersized European winger, and oftentimes this is the perfect recipe for out producing a draft position. When we look at his numbers on the surface, 10 goals and 28 points in 38 games is good for 21st in the Liiga, and is a slight improvement on last year’s numbers as well. Of course, there’s far more to a prospect’s game than their stats in half a season’s worth of games.
Maccelli can certainly be labeled offensive-minded. His best game is on full display when he has the puck on his stick both in transition and in the offensive zone, thanks to high processing speed and foot speed. Transitionally, he puts himself in positions to enter the zone