#1 – Miro Heiskanen, LD – HIFK, SM-liiga

TSN – #3
Central Scouting – #4 ES
ISS – #4
Future Considerations – #3
McKeens – #3
THN – #6
Craig Button – #5
Hockey Prospect – #3

 

COMPARABLE : Duncan Keith
UPSIDE : Franchise D-Man
FLOOR : #3 Two-Way D-Man

 

The last time I compared a d-man to a player like Duncan Keith, it was 2012 and that player was Morgan Rielly. I think that worked out pretty well for the Leafs. Most people had Rielly ranked between #6-8 on their list but I had seen enough from him the year prior at the Under 18s to rank him at #2. I see Miro Heiskanen having that very same potential and probably more.

He’s an incredibly smooth, fluid and strong skater with excellent offensive and defensive awareness. This player thinks the game at a high level. He closes gaps fast due to his elite skating and skates pucks out of the defensive zone effortlessly. Makes crisp, tape-to-tape passes to his teammates with incredibly high accuracy…an excellent puck distributor. To be perfectly blunt, I have not seen a d-man prospect that flags to be this good since Seth Jones in 2013. For me, what’s most impressive is that Heiskanen always seems poised, always seems calm and makes the safe play and correct decision 99% of the time.

I think Heiskanen’s potential ranges between Franchise D-man and no lower than a really solid, two-way #3. I’ve heard comments that some don’t believe his offensive game is good enough for him to be considered a true #1 d-man…I disagree. I think Heiskanen can be a 15G 40A type of player and perhaps even more than that. When you can skate, move the puck and understand the game the way he does, the offense will come with it. This is a kid who is going to be drafted as a 17 year-old and won’t turn 18 until July and for him to have played so well in the SM-liiga as a 17 yr-old, Top-4 D-man is practically unheard of. In the end, I evaluated Heiskanen to be pretty much tied with Hischier as I think Nico has a very strong chance at becoming a #1 center and at worse a #2 center but the reason why I have Heiskanen as my top prospect is because I believe he has the upside to potentially become a Franchise defenceman.

 

REFERENCE via HF BOARDS

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