Leading up to the 2013 NHL Entry Draft in New Jersey, we’ll be profiling top prospects who may hear their names called Sunday in the first round. Nothing too in-depth. Just enough so you know who they are and what they’re about.
Rasmus Ristolainen (D)
Height: 6’3 Weight: 201 Shoots: Right
Team: TPS (Finnish Elite League)
NHL Central Scouting ranking: No. 4 among European skaters
What kind of player is he?
As you can see from his measurements, he’s already at (or near) the size an NHL team would hope for from a first-round prospect. It’s clear that he isn’t shy about using that large frame, either.
Ristolainen told NHL.com that he models his game after Chris Pronger, has regularly been compared to Shea Weber and deeply admires the physical play of Milan Lucic. It all gives the impression of a big, mean player.
He already has a season of experience in Finland’s Elite League, so he’s gotten some experience playing against grown men rather than players his age. That could serve him quite well, even if he gets another year or two to develop.
(Or some might say, more time to nurture that mean streak.)
Ristolainen impressed 2012 first-round draft pick Olli Maatta, who teamed with him at the World Juniors. (via NHL.com)
“I’ve played him a lot and I know him well,” Maatta said. “He’s a great player to play with. He made good plays and made you feel better, gets you more time. He’s a little bit nasty in the [defensive] zone, gets big hits, which I don’t do. I think we did well [together].”
For more 2013 NHL Draft previews, click here.