Photo courtesy of Leijonat.fi

Fantasy Summary

An average-sized puck-moving defenseman with good two-way qualities and middle-pair upside. A very good skater and a very smart player but lacks standout skills.


Observations

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May 2021- In his first full Liiga season with TPS, Eemil Viro demonstrated signs of improvement in his offensive production. Compared to his three assists in 29 games for TPS in 2019-20, he registered four goals and 10 assists in 53 games this season. That is a .16 increase in his points per game average. Viro even took his offense to greater heights in the postseason, registering three goals in 13 playoff games. Of course, one key factor in this hike in points is Viro’s increased ice time, but another factor is improvements in his willingness to shoot the puck. Already a physical, defensively sound blueliner with quality mobility, any signs of increased effectiveness in the offensive zone put Viro in a good position to crack an NHL roster one day.  John Gove

January 2021 – Viro was able to crack the Finnish WJC roster and formed a formidable pairing alongside the tournament’s top defenceman, Topi Niemela, as Finland was able to come away with a bronze medal. His minutes increased late in the tournament as he grew more comfortable and began showing off his puck-moving ability. Though he finished with just two assists in seven contests, Viro was a positive play driver because of his strong skating ability and awareness in the defensive zone. Though he is still years away, those traits are what make him a potential modern-day defensive defenceman. Nick Richard

October 2020 – Viro was drafted 70th overall by the Red Wings. Viro is expected to spend another two years in Finland before crossing the pond.  Jokke Nevalainen

>> Interview: 2020 NHL Draft Prospect Eemil Viro

January 2020 – Viro started this season at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup where he played a pretty big role for Team Finland. Even though he was held pointless in five games, he left a positive impression which was needed because he was a relatively unknown prospect at that time. Viro then started his first full season at Jr. SM-liiga. He played just 13 games there before earning his first call-up to the Liiga team. After those first 13 games, Viro has played just two more games in the junior league, and he now has more Liiga games than junior games this season. His quick transition to the Liiga level has been impressive and people have taken notice of that.

Viro is an average-sized two-way defenseman who doesn’t really have any standout qualities but he’s good at everything. He is a very good skater with edge work and three-step quickness being his biggest strengths in that area. He is also a very smart player who doesn’t usually force plays that aren’t there. He gives very good breakout passes and likes to join the rush. Even though he isn’t a puck-rusher, he can also carry the puck if passing lanes are not available. He can make flashy plays at times but those are not his calling card. Although he is a better player with the puck than without it, Viro is also a pretty good defensive player. He is not big or physical but he utilizes his stick effectively. His positioning still needs improvement but his good hockey sense allows him to improve in that area as well. Like most players his age, he needs to get stronger to win more battles at the pro level.

Viro will likely spend the rest of this season primarily at the Liiga level because TPS is not a very strong team and they can use a player like him. Viro is also expected to play a big role for Team Finland at the U18 Worlds. Although his upside isn’t anything special, Viro will likely get drafted in the first few rounds because smart puck-moving defensemen like him are valuable in today’s NHL. He will need at least a couple of years before playing in the NHL.  Jokke Nevalainen

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 5.5
NHL Certainty 3.0
Country FIN
Position D
Roster Type Junior
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth April 3, 2002
Height 6‘0”
Weight 168 lbs
Drafted 2020 Round 3; Overall: 70

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2016-2017 TPS U16U16 SM-sarja1 0 00 0|Playoffs2 0 00
 2017-2018 TPS U16U16 SM-sarja Q23 8 2533 20|        
  TPS U16U16 SM-sarja16 8 816 8|Playoffs4 0 00
  TPS U18U18 SM-sarja2 0 00 0|        
  Finland U16 (all)International-Jr11 0 22 10|        
 2018-2019 TPS U18U18 SM-sarja41 7 1320 34|Playoffs3 0 22
  TPS U20U20 SM-sarja