Olli Juolevi

by Cam Robinson on April 21, 2017

 

Olli Juolevi

Shoots: L

Height: 6-3

Weight: 183

Born: 1998-05-05

Hometown:  Helsinki, FIN

Drafted: 2016 by Vancouver Canucks, fifth overall

 

 

 

 

 

Observations:

April 2017 – Juolevi's second OHL season ended as his London Knights' squad lost a heartbreaking Game Seven to Erie in the second round of the playoffs. The former fifth-overall pick finished the regular season with 42 points in 58 games and eight points in 14 playoff matches. The smooth-skating and cerebral defender took on a more defensive role with the club as Victor Mete shared top power-play duties with him. With the departure of left-shooting defender Nikita Tryamkin from the Canucks' lineup, Juolevi will have an increased chance of making the big club next fall, but is probably more likely to return to London for a final junior campaign. Cam Robinson

March 2017 – Juolevi has witnessed his offensive production slow in the back half of his second OHL campaign. He's still being tasked with the majority of tough matchups for the powerhouse Knights but fantasy owners would like to see some more flashes of puck distribution and power-play ability, especially against his own age bracket. There's a strong chance that the Finnish blueliner returns to London in 2017-18, as the Canucks suddenly have a fairly deep blueline for the former fifth overall selection to crack. Cam Robinson

January 2017 – Juolevi returned from a disappointing world Junior performance looking to start 2017 on a better note. He has done just that by scoring two goals and eight points in eight games for the London Knights. He's also piled up 23 shots on goal in that span including an 11-shot game back on January 8th. The 2016 fifth overall pick has improved his point-per-game output from his draft season all the while seeing the majority of tough minutes for the once-again-contender Knights. He may never be an elite point producer, but he's above-average at both ends of the rink. Cam Robinson

January 2017 – The Canucks' first round selection last June - and fifth overall, captained the very disappointing Team Finland at the World Junior Hockey Championships to a relegation round finish. The Fins were unable to steadily create offense, and while they brought a young team to the tournament and weren't expected to truly compete for Gold, they wholefully underperformed. Juolevi himself showed glimpses of the elite puck-mover that we saw at the 2016 WJC's but also moments of some poor decision-making. He was lauded for holding a players-only meeting after a particularly ghastly outing in which the entire coaching staff was fired mid-tournament. Juolevi finished with two assists in six games played. Cam Robinson

December 2016 – Olli Juolevi has left his London Knights' teammates to once again represent Finland at the WJC tournament. He was a monster for the defending gold medalists last year, posting nine points in seven games and playing huge minutes as a draft-eligible player. Finland will be sending a rather young team this time around, that lacks the star power from the 2016 edition. Expect some growing pains and a difficult road to the medal round, but the Canucks' first round selection will be leaned on heavily as the pillar of the back end. Cam Robinson

November 2016 – Juolevi has been quietly going about his business for the London Knights. The efficient defender has been tasked with all the hard assignments and has been handling them quite well. He's chipped in one goal and eight points in 11 contests with a plus-4 rating. While the OHL doesn't keep track of time on ice metrics, Juolevi is playing huge minutes for the Dale Hunter-coached squad once again this season. Cam Robinson

October 2016 – The Canucks saw fit to return the 2016 fifth-overall pick to London of the OHL. Juolevi had a quality camp and appears to think the game at the NHL-level already. More physical strength is needed and he will benefit greatly from another season under Dale Hunter and a strong Knights squad. Cam Robinson
 
September 2016 – The fifth overall pick from this past draft sure looked big out there as he suited up for his first game in the Canucks' organization Friday at the Young Stars tournament. The Finnish blueliner is so smart and efficient; you cannot forecheck this kid. He skates or passes out of any situation and possesses tantalizing offensive potential. Juolevi is going to make it very hard for Vancouver to send him back to London, but that's what they'll inevitably do. -Cam Robinson

June 2016 – Vancouver GM Jim Benning pounced after Columbus somewhat surprisingly drafted forward Pierre-Luc Dubois third overall, leaving Edmonton no realistic choice but to snatch Finnish forward Jesse Puljujarvi fourth instead of the blueliner the Oilers need desperately. That allowed Juolevi, the highest-ranked defenseman in the draft, to fall to the Canucks. Vancouver has needs up front, too, but the young Finnish two-way defender might eventually blossom into the first true No. 1 blueliner in franchise history. If he does, it will be due to the maturity and poise Juolevi displayed at the 2016 world junior championship, where he was named a tournament all-star.  Mark Allan

February 2016 – Finland will be well represented early in the draft with a pair of elite forwards in Jesse Puljujarvi and Patrick Laine. Juolevi will be the top Finnish defender selected in the draft and is a talented two-way defenceman who can move the puck up the ice, run the power play and is poised and confident defensively. Juolevi has drawn comparisons to former London Knight and fellow Finn Olli Maatta, and like Maatta he is a fluid skater who is always in position, makes sound decisions both with and away from the puck. Juolevi  is efficient in creating transition hockey and deploys great stretch passes and equally adept at skating the puck up the ice. Peter Harling

February 2016 – Arguably the best defenseman at the World Junior, Juolevi had a breakout performance and solidified his hold on a top ten ranking for the 2016 draft. He has good size at 6’2”, but doesn’t play the physical game as well as he could; he doesn’t need to. He skates and thinks the game so well, like Niklas Lidstrom he does not need to use body checks to be effective. Juolevi is a very smart player and consistently displays sound decision making choices and is positionally very responsible. He has the confidence and skills to carry the puck up ice and the vision to make breakout passes and run a power play. He will have an impact in the NHL when he arrives. Peter Harling

 

 

Fantasy Outlook: A-

Juolevi is close to being NHL-ready, but has smaller offensive upside than some of the top defensemen prospects. Will fit in as a top-four, two-way defenseman soon.

 

Footage:

Olli Juolevi Highlights

 

 

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