Rasmus Ristolainen Profile
Rasmus RistolainenHt/Wt: 6' 4"/205 lbs
Team: TPS (FIN)
Rasmus Ristolainen's Player ProfileRistolainen had a quality season in Finland, where he often logged tough, heavy minutes for TPS. That is an impressive role for an 18-year-old defenseman in that league. He is not a flashy player, but he does everything well. He best skill is his hockey sense. He thinks the game at a level well beyond his years, and he does not make many mistakes on the ice. He is an aware, effective defenseman who can close gaps with his body or with his stick. With the puck, he shows calmness, but he can process the game quickly when the situation calls for it. He can man the point on the power play. He is a solid to above-average skater (I have heard an NHL scout classify him as high end in that area). His puck handling is at a similar level; he can flash significant offensive ability, but the bulk of value will come from his work in his own zone. To that point, he will lay the body, and he can provide quality hits. He could fast track to the NHL quicker than a typical defense prospect.
Submitted by: Corey Pronman of Hockey Prospectus. Click here for Pronman's draft rankings
Where a team will probably have to be more patient with Nikita Zadorov, many feel that Rasmus Ristolainen could crack an NHL roster as early as next season. A 1994 birthdate, Ristolainen has already logged two full seasons in the SM-Liiga with TPS and has the body frame to play in the NHL as a teenager.
Ristolainen is a mobile defenseman who is effective in the transition game and not out of place offensively. He does a good job of identifying passing lanes and also has the ability to jump into the rush when he sees an opportunity. How much upside Ristolainen ultimately has is a question mark, but at this point he looks like a safe bet to be a long-term Top 4 defenseman at minimum.
Submitted by: The Scouting Report
You could see all the NHL scouts looking mighty heavily at the big, mobile, puck-moving defenseman. He plays very mature for his late ’94 birthdate as he knows how to turn the play up ice quickly by making the outlet pass or carrying the biscuit himself. He plays a very strong defensive game by utilizing his strength, positioning, and long reach to cut opposition’s opportunities down. Ristolainen showed some nice vision as he created scoring chances with some beautiful feeds and also unleashed his bomb from the point a handful of times at the NJEC. He will certainly draw much attention in Ufa, Russia this winter and looks to be a solid first rounder come June.
Submitted by: Russ Bitely from the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp – U20 Team Finland – Lake Placid, NY – August 4th-11th
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ISS Top 30#8 Rasmus RistolainenComplete package. Very poised two-way defenseman with size. Can play any style/role.— ISS Hockey (@ISShockey) December 10, 2012
Rasmus Ristolainen VideosRasmus Ristolainen Highlights
Rasmus Ristolainen - 1st and 2nd SM-liiga goal
Rasmus Ristolainen shootout goal 2011
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