Photo courtesy of Liiga.fi

Fantasy Summary

Extremely talented offensive winger who has been dealing with lots of injuries. Top-line upside but there’s a lot of risk with him as well. More of a playmaker but also owns a great wrist shot. High-end vision and hockey sense. Great speed with the puck.


Observations

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May 2022 – Simontaival wrapped up his season for KalPa of the Liiga in Finland, where he netted seven goals and added seven assists, doubling his point total from his rookie season. Simontaival’s upside is superb when given the chance to play to his strengths in the offensive zone. He creates a lot of space when he has the puck and can quickly turn a harmless play into a high-danger opportunity almost immediately. Simontaival is known for his playmaking ability, but his quick release sets him apart from the competition. The unpredictable element in his game could land him an NHL job in the next few seasons. The 2020 third round selection by the Kings will likely need another year in Finland to continue his development and smoothen his play at both ends of the ice before making the jump to North America. Once he does, he will have a long list of prospects to hurdle over to make the big roster. A tall task, but not impossible for a player of his calibre. Once in the NHL, Simontaival projects as a middle-six winger with top-six scoring upside, but if he can find his stride quickly and establish himself, the sky’s the limit, and he could flirt with top line production. Sean Crocker

December 2020 – This is Simontaival’s first taste of World Junior Championship action and he has found himself lined up on Finland’s top-line. He is playing alongside the highly-rated, Anton Lundell and has put up three points in his first two games. The trust the coach has in him shows that he has great upside and will be a key piece for his nation in next year’s tournament. He is still a few years away from making the jump to North America but the arrow is pointing up for the Kings’ third-round selection. Julian Mongillo

October 2020 – The Finnish native is a very skilled forward who hangs his hat on his playmaking abilities. He is a very smart player who sees the ice well allowing him to make great decisions and passes. His shot is very underrated and his work ethic and competitiveness give him the opportunity to become a reliable forward. He will continue to play in his native Finland for Tappara Tampere of the Liiga before potentially making his move to North America within the next year or two. Julian Mongillo

October 2020 – Simontaival was picked at 66th overall by the Los Angeles Kings. Tony Ferrari

February 2020 – Contrary to what was expected, Simontaival hasn’t been a regular at the men’s level this season. But he has been a dominant player in the junior league, scoring 22 goals and 52 points in 45 games. Most importantly, though, he has been focusing on his play without the puck to become a more well-rounded player. He has been frequently used on the penalty kill and protecting a lead which is not situations where you would normally expect to see a skill player like him. Becoming a more well-rounded player increases Simontaival’s chances of being a full-time player at the men’s level next season and also increases his chances of one day playing in the NHL. He has upside to become a top-line scoring star but even if he doesn’t reach that level, he can still become a middle-six offensive winger because of his improved all-around game.  Jokke Nevalainen

July 2019 – Simontaival is one of the most talented offensive players in his draft class but he’s been dealing with a multitude of injuries over the past couple of years which has been affecting his consistency among other things. Simontaival has high-end vision and hockey sense which allow him to read and make plays at an elite level. He has great speed, and his hands are among the best in his draft class which allows him to make plays at top speed. He’s a great playmaker but also owns an excellent wrist shot which is both accurate and powerful. He isn’t afraid to battle for pucks despite his small frame (5-9, 179). Besides the injury concerns and size, the one negative part about his game is that he sometimes cheats for offense but hopefully that improves when he gets more pro experience. Simontaival spent half a season in junior and half a season at the pro level. Most of his pro games were in Mestis which is the second-highest level but he also played a few games at the top level in the Liiga. Despite facing a couple of injuries throughout the season, his counting stats at all levels were excellent considering his age, and he has a history of producing big numbers at the junior level. Simontaival also played at the U18 Worlds as an underager. He was coming back from an injury which clearly affected his play early on as he didn’t go hard into situations like he usually does. But late in the tournament, he showed what kind of a talent he is and put up some points there as well. Simontaival is expected to spend his draft season at the pro level, either in the Liiga or in Mestis. He could also push for a spot on Finland’s roster at the World Juniors. He is currently projected to be a first round pick in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft but a strong season could push him to top ten territory.  Jokke Nevalainen

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 8.0
NHL Certainty 3.0
Country FIN
Position RW
Roster Type Draft Eligible
Shoot/Glove Right
Date of Birth January 11, 2002
Height 5‘9”
Weight 179 lbs
Drafted 2020 Round 3; Overall: 66

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2014-2015 Finland Selects U13WSI U139 10 717 10|        
 2015-2016 Tappara U16U16 SM-sarja Q1 1 01 0|        
  Tappara U16U16 SM-sarja4 0 11 0|        
  Finland Selects U14WSI U149 12 517 2|        
 2016-2017 Tappara U16U16 SM-sarja Q22 42 2062 20|        
  Tappara U16U16 SM-sarja4 11 5