Photo credit:courtesy KooKoo
Finnish blueliner Joni Jurmo is big, mobile and an intriguing addition to the Calgary Flames prospect pool
By Ryan Pike20 days ago
Folks, in the game of hockey, in many positions, size matters. All things being equal, a bigger body is harder to knock off the puck, but often there’s a trade-off between size and other attributes.
Joni Jurmo, a Finnish blueliner acquired from the Vancouver Canucks in the Elias Lindholm swap, is a big-bodied player that may buck trends related to big defenders.
A product of Espoo, Finland, Jurmo is listed at 6’5″ and 209 pounds, and he’s a left shot blueliner. He was a third-round selection by the Canucks in the 2020 NHL Draft.
As has been seen often from European players, Jurmo has progressed steadily throughout Finnish hockey and put up strong offensive numbers while playing against players older than him:
- As a 16-year-old in 2018-19, he had 23 points in 42 games in U18
- As a 17-year-old in 2019-20, he had 28 points in 43 games in U20
- As an 18-year-old in 2020-21, he bounced around a bit. He had 4 points in 4 U20 games, 0 points in 20 Liiga games, and 8 points in 10 games in the secondary Mestis pro league.
- As a 19-year-old in 2021-22, he had 10 points in 50 games in Liiga
- As a 20-year-old in 2022-23, he had 13 points in 52 games in Liiga
- As a 21-year-old so far in 2023-24, he has 4 points in 35 games in Liiga
Looking at various scouting assessments of Jurmo, his size and skating ability are often trumpeted. At his best, he moves well and uses his length and wingspan quite well to defend and protect the puck.
Dobber Prospects’ Dave Hall had this assessment back in March, at the end of the 2022-23 season:
Jurmo has wrapped up his third – and likely final – season in Liiga, capping it off with a career-high five goals and 13 points. Whether it is this season or next, you can expect the 20-year-old, 6-foot-4 rearguard to cross the pond to take on a North American pro tour. At his best, Jurmo possesses great offensive instincts and seamless skating ability, which could plant him in a consistent top-four role in Abbotsford out the gate. While the timeline is still a few seasons away, bottom-pairing NHL potential continues to linger.
Writing over at Canucks Army back in June, our pal Chris Faber noted that he had been told by sources that Jurmo would likely be signing with the Canucks and heading to join Abbotsford at the end of the Liiga season. One would argue that if he was willing to do that in Vancouver’s system, there’s a pretty good chance the same would apply for the Flames. Either way, the Flames hold Jurmo’s rights until June 1.
Jurmo’s big. He can move well. He can manage the puck well. He’s played four seasons of high-level pro hockey. He seems like he’d need a bit of work to get used to the North American game, but he’s a really intriguing combination of size and hockey-playing tools.
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