https://www.leijonat.fi/

Fantasy Summary

A smooth-skating transitional defenseman who has gained more and more notoriety as his draft year has gone on. He brings a mobility and skill level that allows him to affect the game at both ends of the ice, Heimosalmi is an intriguing two-way defender with solid upside.


Observations

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March 2022 – It has been quite the dry year for Heimosalmi with Assat in the Liiga this year, but take that with a grain of salt given he is just 18, and this is his first year in the Men’s league. He played in the U20 last year. He has zero goals and three assists in 47 games, but the team leader, 33 year old Sakari Salminen, has managed seven goals and 26 assists for 33 points in 55 games. He does not appear to be worth burning a roster spot on just yet unless your league is exceptionally deep. Alex Wyatt

 

July 2021 – Heimosalmi was selected in the second round, 44th overall by the Carolina Hurricanes in the 2021 NHL Draft. Nick Richard

 

April 2021 – Heimosalmi has been one of the risers of the draft this year. The undersized defender played for Ässät U20 this season and his development over the course of the season has been a welcome sight. Early in the year, the young Finn was displaying his excellent mobility. His ability to stop and start, change direction and skate in any direction is what really powers his game. With the ability to synchronize his hands and feet in transition is impressive, showing the ability to weave through traffic in the neutral zone, Heimosalmi shows excellent puck-moving ability. His first pass out of his own zone is crisp and on-target, hitting a teammate in stride. He goes for the big stretch pass at times and that has caused a few turnovers here and there but he rarely makes the same mistake twice and understands his own game quite well. He plays a good defensive game but he will need to add strength to his fame and get a bit bigger because there are times when he can be pushed around a little bit but his effort level in battles is generally quite good. He establishes body position, uses his stick to poke pucks free, and then jumps on the loose puck to begin the move up ice. He plays quick and with pace in all three zones, projecting as a modern-day transitional blueliner who can play in all three zones. His offensive prowess is what has developed the most this season. As he became more comfortable, he began jumping into the offense a bit more. His reads at the blueline that allowed him to jump into space in the second half of the season are impressive and he rarely mistimed his reads. His puck skill was impressive as he works his way into the slot, presenting himself as a shooting threat while remaining a playmaker at heart. If he can continue to improve his offensive aggression and diagnosis, his offensive game could pop even more than it has thus far. Heimosalmi is going to be an interesting development project who could play in all situations if developed properly. The tools are all very interesting and he should project as a two-way blueliner with excellent mobility and interesting skill. Set to play at the World Under-18s, Heimosalmi may pop onto the scene for casual fans sooner rather than later. Pat Quinn

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 7.5
NHL Certainty 7.5
Country FIN
Position D
Roster Type System
Shoot/Glove Right
Date of Birth May 8, 2003
Height 5‘11”
Weight 170 lbs
Drafted 2021 Round 2; Overall: 44

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2017-2018 Ässät U16U16 SM-sarja2 0 00 0|Playoffs2 2 02
 2018-2019 Ässät U16U16 SM-sarja Q13 0 44 8|        
  Ässät U16U16 SM-sarja7 0 33 14|Playoffs2 0 00
  Ässät U18U18 SM-sarja35 1 89 12|Playoffs7 0 00
  Finland U16 (all)International-Jr14 2 46 10|        
 2019-2020 Ässät U18U18 SM-sarja25 7 815 12|        
  Ässät U20U20 SM-sarja3 0 00 0|        
  Finland U17WHC-175 0 11