Liiga Report: Stars’ prospect Hintz showing skill in Finland

by niko on March 17, 2017

 

Roope Hintz was drafted in the 2015 entry draft, by the Dallas Stars (second round, 49th overall). He has since played with the HIFK. In 44 games this season, he has 19 goals and 11 assists. Hintz shattered the previous season's totals of 20 points in 33 games. At times, he has been the best player in his team for long stretches of time. The young Finn is centering the first line, which has been on fire lately.

Hintz is an extremely fast skater. He has a good release and he is not afraid to use his big frame. Hintz has shown flashes of brilliance when he takes over the game and turns the tide for his team with a big goal or by setting up one of his linemates. The thing that’s been missing this season is consistency, being able to bring his A-game every night. He has reached a point in his career where he needs to take that next step forward if he wants to make it in to the NHL and stay there.

 

 


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Aleksi Saarela is reportedly leaving for Carolina this summer. His team, Rauman Lukko, didn’t make it in to the playoffs this season. Since he has an ELC, he is eligible to report to the Hurricanes or the Checkers. There is a chance he gets to play in North America as soon as this season. Before his season ended in Finland, Saarela was centering the first line. In 47 games this season, he had 14 goals and 13 assists.

Saarela is a smooth and fast skater, equipped with a good hockey sense. He has good hands and stickhandling ability. Saarela has seen what it takes to have an successful training camp. It is crucial that he makes the best out of this season, whatever experience he gets in North America, as he gets prepared for next season's training camp. Luckily for him, there are a few fellow Finns there to guide him in Carolina.


 

Niko Salminen

 

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