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Getting to know Urho Vaakanainen

Boston gets some sensible defending from Finland in Urho!

2017 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

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Urho Vaakanainen NHL Draft profile | SB Nation NHL Draft Match

Welcome Urho to Boston!

Posted by Stanley Cup of Chowder on Friday, June 23, 2017

One of the most decidedly finnish names and prospects out there, The Black and Gold now welcomes 18 year old defender Urho Vaakanainen from his travels on Team Finland and as a defender for JYP and Espoo Blues in the Finnish Liiga.

What are his features?

  • Impressive on-ice awareness, and experience far beyond his years, playing with great anticipation of a breakout, rarely allowing rushing opportunities to get past him. Indeed, this allowed him to get into the Finnish Liiga at the ripe age of 16 for Espoo, and spend the next few years going all over for the Finnish national team before settling in with JYP for a year
  • Much faster skating than you might peg a player with his skillset
  • A hard shot
  • Mostly universal praise of his passing accuracy, able to get long passes to rushing forwards
  • Advanced awareness around the net
  • Penalty killing, which as a defenseman is always a plus!

Does he need to work on anything?

  • His shot is hard, but not accurate. That more than anything needs to change.
  • Isn’t going to wow anyone with point totals. Has the ability to become an assist machine but hasn’t been put into a position to do so or hasn’t been given the initiative for it.
  • Probably could stand to get about 10/20 pounds heavier. Though almost everyone in the draft this year is a bit on the small side, so it’s a side effect of being at the table this year really.

All in all, a player fans might very much enjoy having around as a safe, no nonsense kind of player on the backend with only minor tweaks to his game needed. The current trajectory for him this year is to go play for the Liiga team SaiPa.

Which, just so happens to be a black and gold team!

Funny how that works out, right?

And of course he’s uh...gonna have to not wear the number “7”. I hear 17’s open nowadays...

Social Media Highlight:

So at the absolute least, Urho knows who Tuukka Rask is and probably what not to do while skating around him. This already makes sure he will join the team inevitably with something over a number of certain defenders...

Welcome to the Black and Gold, Urho!