2020 NHL Draft
2019 Ivan Hlinka Tournament
Steve Kournianos | 08/04/2019 | Nashville | [hupso]
NASHVILLE (The Draft Analyst) — The 2019 under-18 Ivan Hlinka tournament, the first of several high-profile events for 2020 NHL draft prospects, begins Monday from the Czech Republic and Slovakia. On display will be dozens of teenage hopefuls born in 2002 or 2003 who will compete in an annual event that could set the tone for how they are viewed in the eyes of the NHL scouting community. The tournament will run August 5-10 and features eight competing nations broken down into two groups.
Below are scouting reports in some of the notable skaters who will participate in the competition.
|Mon 8/5/2019||3:30 pm / 9:00 am||Finland-Canada||Breclav, CZE||A|
|Mon 8/5/2019||3:30 pm / 9:00 am||Russia-USA||Piestany, SVK||B|
|Mon 8/5/2019||7:00 pm / 1:00 pm||Czech Republic-Switzerland||Breclav, CZE||A|
|Mon 8/5/2019||7:00 pm / 1:00 pm||Slovakia-Sweden||Piestany, SVK||B|
|Tue 8/6/2019||3:30 pm / 9:00 am||Canada-Switzerland||Breclav, CZE||A|
|Tue 8/6/2019||3:30 pm / 9:00 am||Sweden-Russia||Piestany, SVK||B|
|Tue 8/6/2019||7:00 pm / 1:00 pm||Czech Republic-Finland||Breclav, CZE||A|
|Tue 8/6/2019||7:00 pm / 1:00 pm||Slovakia-USA||Piestany, SVK||B|
|Wed 8/7/2019||3:30 pm / 9:00 am||Switzerland-Finland||Breclav, CZE||A|
|Wed 8/7/2019||3:30 pm / 9:00 am||USA-Sweden||Piestany, SVK||B|
|Wed 8/7/2019||7:00 pm / 1:00 pm||Czech Republic-Canada||Breclav, CZE||A|
|Wed 8/7/2019||7:00 pm / 1:00 pm||Slovakia-Russia||Piestany, SVK||B|
|Fri 8/9/2019||3:30 pm / 9:00 am||A3-B3/A4-B4||Breclav, CZE||Placement|
|Fri 8/9/2019||3:30 pm / 9:00 am||B3-A3/B4-A4||Piestany, SVK||Placement|
|Fri 8/9/2019||7:00 pm / 1:00 pm||A1-B2/B1-A2||Breclav, CZE||SF|
|Fri 8/9/2019||7:00 pm / 1:00 pm||A1-B2/B1-A2||Piestany, SVK||SF|
|Sat 8/10/2019||5:00 pm / 11:00 am||Final or Third-Place Game||Breclav, CZE||Medal|
|Sat 8/10/2019||5:00 pm / 11:00 am||Final or Third-Place Game||Piestany, SVK||Medal|
Russia - RW Vasili Ponomaryov (Kryliya Sovetov, MHL - 2020 Draft Eligible)
Name: Vasili Ponomaryov
Position: Right Wing
Height/Weight: 6’0, 176 lbs
Born: March 13th, 2002, Russia
2019-20 Commitment: Kryliya Sovetov, MHL
Summary: A slick goal scorer with speed and an impressive array of shots to light the lamp, Ponomaryov was recently selected ninth overall by Shawinigan in the CHL Import Draft. He has very good straight-line speed and balance to power through checks, but his agility and quick feet allow him to take the puck inside for a power move down the middle.
Russia - RW Daniil Guschin (Muskegon, USHL - 2020 Draft Eligible)
Position: Right Wing
Height/Weight: 5’8, 165 lbs
Born: June 2nd, 2002; Yekaterinberg, Russia
2019-20 Commitment: Muskegon Lumberjacks, USHL
Summary: An explosive offensive forward with ridiculous hands and elite stick-handling abilities, Guschin led all USHL 16-year-old prospects in scoring with 36 points in 51 games. The seventh overall pick by Regina in the 2019 CHL Import Draft, Guschin is expected to play for Russia at the Ivan Hlinka in August for the second straight year.
Finland - RHD Topi Niemela (Karpat U20, Jr. A SM-Liiga - 2020 Draft Eligible)
Name: Topi Niemela
Height/Weight: 6’0, 160 lbs
Born: March 25th, 2002; Oulu, Finland
2019-20 Commitment: Karpat, SM-Liiga
Summary: A nimble puck rusher with multi-directional agility who a season ago spent a significant amount of time with Finland’s deep under-18 national team, Niemela may very well be the best defense prospect the Finns showcase for the 2020 NHL draft. He’s an excellent skater who uses his mobility as a weapon, bobbing and weaving up ice as he attacks into the offensive zone with confidence. He owns a hard shot with a big windup, and he won’t hesitate to use it either, but Niemlea is at his best when he collects the puck behind his net and initiates the breakout. Expect him to play on the top pairing and run Finland’s power play.
Finland - RHD Ruben Rafkin (Windsor, OHL - 2020 Draft Eligible)
Name: Ruben Rafkin
Height/Weight: 6’0, 190 lbs
Born: January 8th, 2002; Turku, Finland
2019-20 Commitment: Windsor Spitfires, OHL
Summary: A hard-hitting two-way blueliner who likes to handle the puck, Rafkin is switching over from the USHL’s Tri-City Storm to the OHL’s Windsor Spitfires for his draft season. Although he is incredibly confident with the puck and never met a breakout opportunity he didn’t like, Rafkin also pays attention to his low-slot duties and will use his strength to keep the crease area protected as best as possible. He quickly transitions from defense to offense, using above-avergae speed and sharp directional changes to enter the zone and take the puck strong to the net. He’s more of a shooter than a playmaker, but his aggressiveness keeps him involved in the play, especially below the circles.
Finland - RHD Kasper Puutio (Swift Current, WHL - 2020 Draft Eligible)
Name: Kasper Puutio
Height/Weight: 6’0, 185 lbs
Born: June 3rd, 2002, Vaasa, Finland
2019-20 Commitment: Swift Current Broncos, WHL
Summary: A cerebral puck mover with a commanding presence on the ice, Puutio was the first pick in the 2019 CHL Import Draft, and will undoubtedly be leaned on to provide the Swift Current Broncos with strong three-zone play in all in-game scenarios. He possesses a strong understanding of the game and understands how to use his quick feet and agility to evade pressure and jump start the attack. Puutio uses hard, accurate breakout passes, but can do so with forechaeckers harassing him. His size, mobility, strength on the puck, and poise under intense pressure will be critical in allowing Finland to exploit the speed of its forwards.