|Written by Matthew Bugg|
March 2013 - Vatanen is currently tied with Peter Holland for the lead in AHL scoring with 40 points in 53 games. Earlier in the season, Vatanen enjoyed his first taste of the NHL, playing his first three NHL games averaging over 15 minutes of ice time. He also saw some first PP time as well. Described by coach Boudreau as a "risk taker", Vatanen will need some more seasoning in the AHL as he is at times weak defensively. His excellent skating and poise will always be his primary strengths. When he gets the opportunity, expect him to take full advantage of it. Vatanen has been a project since he was drafted back in 2009, but has stepped up to the challenge at every level. Kevin Won
January 2013 – Vatanen has been excellent in his debut in North American pro hockey. He has compiled 23 points in 34 games for Norfolk this season and is currently Anaheim’s preferred seventh option on the back end. He will continue to be bumped up and down as required and looks to be a notable fantasy option for those able to store him on their roster. Jason Banks
December, 2011 – On loan to JYP after a mediocre camp in the fall, smooth-skating offensive defenseman Sami Vatanen appears to have taken the next step in his development as a future PMD. The Finnish league’s leading point-getter among defensemen, the 20-year-old needs to acclimate to the physical burdens of the North American game. But with Lubomir Visnovsky a prime example of what a strong core and big-league work ethic can do for a smaller player, Vatanen is in good hands.
Lacks size and strength and would need to compensate for that with quick results offensively.
Great performance at the 2010 WJC:
Fantasy Prospects Report Notes (Any FPR's released in the last 18 months will not be listed here):
2009 Fantasy Prospects Report:
Scouting Report: "Finland's next-best defenseman is 5'8 Sami Vatanen; while a tremendous skater and thinker, Vatanen does not project to be a star player." It was with those fateful words that we opened our coverage of the IIHF World Under-18 Championships at DobberHockey.com. Vatanen would go on to net five points and a plus-6 rating for Suomi, earning praise in almost every match he appeared in. Clearly not satisfied, the youngster followed that up with a dominant Combine showing in which he displayed endurance and strength not seen in players a foot taller. Several respected scouting organizations promptly jumped on board the Vatanen train, with phrases such as 'best Fin in the Draft' and 'next Kimmo Timonen'. So what has Vatanen's breakout done for our perspective? Err, not that much. There is a great deal to like about Vatanen; he skates, thinks the game and can apparently do exercises at an NHL level. However, one must take a step back and objectively evaluate his season. For the majority, Vatanen was not even a dominant player in junior and never earned a call-up to the SM-Liiga. And while his U18 numbers are solid, he actually finished second on his team in points from the blueline. As it was, acting as quarterback for the trio of Toni Rajala, Teemu Pulkkinen and Mikael Granlund gave him the kind of room to operate that few ever get. Vatanen is absolutely a worthy pick in the second round and a solid fantasy option. However, don't go crazy. Notable Numbers: At the combine, Vatanen posted a 68.9 ml/kg/m rating in the notorious V02 test - more than any other player.
Potential: Top-four defenseman, PP specialist (5-40-45)
Years Away: 3+
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|Last Updated on Tuesday, 02 April 2013 07:30|