2017 NHL Draft

Kristian Vesalainen

HPK (Liiga)

Steve Kournianos  |  06/08/2017 |  New York  |  

Profile

Position: Left Wing
Shoots: Left
Height / Weight: 6’3, 207 lbs
Born: June 1, 1999 | Helsinki, Finland
Nation: Finland

The Draft Analyst Ranking:

PRE SEP OCT FEB MAY JUN
7 6 5 15 17 19

Regular Season

Year Team GP G A P PIM
2016-17 Frolunda (SHL) 26 1 5 6 2
2016-17 Frolunda J20 (Superelit) 10 4 0 4 14
2016-17 HPK (Liiga) 9 1 0 1 0
2016-17 Finland (U18 WC) 7 6 7 13 8
2016-17 Finland (U20 WJC) 6 1 1 2 0
2015-16 Frolunda J20 (Superelit) 37 15 19 34 0
2015-16 Frolunda (SHL) 19 1 1 2 0
2015-16 Finland (U18 WC) 7 2 4 6 6
2015-16 Finland (U18 Hlinka) 5 0 0 0 0
2015-16 Finland (U17 WHC) 5 4 4 8 4
2014-15 HIFK U18 (Jr. B SM-Liiga) 18 10 5 15 29
2014-15 HIFK U20 (Jr. A SM-Liiga) 17 1 1 2 0

Scouting Report

Add Vesalainen to the list of preseason favorites who either dealt with injuries or struggled producing in a senior league. In his case, it was the latter, as an early ride on Frolunda’s top line quickly turned into a stint in a Finnish junior league before closing his season out in the Superelit. The bouncing around was compounded by a sluggish WJC, but to Vesalainen’s credit, he bounced back in the J20 playoffs with a string of dominating performances, followed by winning the MVP of the under-18 world championship. He’s a goal scorer with size, strength and very good vision, but like most power forwards, Vesalainen goes through periods of inconsistency. But pairing him with a pass-first playmaker likely bears the results you expect from a player with his skills and an NHL-ready build. He’s a tough winger who is a dual shot/pass threat and uses his size and strength to overpower opponents. Vesalainen possesses a long powerful stride, and his lateral quickness and shiftiness with the puck make him difficult to contain. He’s got incredibly soft hands and poise with the puck, and both skills are evident the way he handles passes and gains the zone via a bull rush or controlled entry.