Calgary Flames prospect Topi Rönni turned heads at the World Junior Summer Showcase
Photo credit:Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports
By Ryan Pike1 month ago
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Back in 2022, Finnish forward Topi Rönni was the Calgary Flames’ first selection at the NHL Draft. A toolsy two-way centre, he played a lot of hockey in 2022-23 (in between brief injury absences) and the highlight of his year was perhaps his stint with his country at the World Juniors.
Based on his showing at the World Junior Summer Showcase this past week in Plymouth, Michigan, Rönni might have an impressive follow-up in store this holiday season. His performances at the event drew praise from a few outlets in the hockey world.
Rönni played top six minutes with Tappara Tampere’s under-20 team, winning a championship, and was a key depth piece for their Liiga team, playing bottom-six minutes and killing penalties, helping that club work their way to a championship of their own. (Rönni was back in junior during their run to the Liiga title, though.)
Suffice it to say, Rönni’s temperament and skill set seem well-attuned to being a strong supporting playing. He lined up in all four Summer Showcase games for Finland, taking a spot as third line centre with a rotation of different wingers on either side.
After the third day of games, featuring Finland playing Sweden, The Hockey News’ Detroit correspondent Sam Stockton singled him out for praise:
As discussed above, much of Finland’s game revolves around speed and directness. Defensemen play high flips and quick, vertical wingers pursue the loose puck. It’s a formula that can put any team under pressure, and it doesn’t require much time or space for something nice and chaotic to break Finland’s way.However, Topi Ronni (a 2022 second round selection from the Calgary Flames) brings a slightly different element to the Finnish line-up. He is an excellent neutral zone facilitator, who does tremendous work in build-up play for the Fins. He is quick and alert with good vision. He didn’t find his way onto the scoresheet, but he’s constantly making little plays to keep everything moving in the right direction for his team.
After the final day of action, featuring Finland beating USA White (one of two American entries), Daily Faceoff’s prospect guru Steven Ellis also had nice things to say:
#13 Topi Ronni, C (Calgary Flames): I can’t say I’ve kept too close of an eye on Ronni, but he seemed really involved today at both ends. He brought speed, he backchecked hard and made some nice passes around the net. He didn’t get a point, but I thought he looked great.
Finland has won medals at the World Juniors in the three of the past five events. If they’re going to return to the podium this winter, they’ll need quality performances up and down their line-up. If the Summer Showcase was any indication, Rönni can be reasonably expected to provide quality minutes in his expected third line role.
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