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Finnish import Julius Miettinen offers a lot of value in the 2024 NHL Draft

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Photo credit:Evan Morud/WHL
Ryan Pike
29 days ago
The first year in a new league can be tough on a player, especially if that league is on a strange new continent, and doubly so if the transition season coincides with a player’s draft year.
Yet despite all of those potential obstacles, Everett Silvertips centre Julius Miettinen relocated from Finland for the 2023-24 season and emerged as a strong value proportion in the 2024 NHL Draft.

Scouting report

A product of Helsinki, Finland, Miettinen is a January 2006 birthday. He’s a left shot forward who plays centre and the wing, and he’s listed at 6’3″ and 201 pounds.
Miettinen came up through the HIFK organization in his hometown. He spent the 2022-23 season with HIFK’s under-20 team in Finland’s top junior league, then opted to try out North American hockey when he was selected by the Everett Silvertips in the CHL’s Import Draft.
In March, Jason Bukala of Sportsnet had this assessment:
Plays to a consistent identity, bringing a combination of size and power. Good skater who is hard to bump off pucks in the tough areas. Leans shooter more than distributor. Has a quick release and shoots it hard and accurately. Dangerous on the power play.
Dobber Prospects’ Luke Sweeney wrote this scouting report back in April:
Julius Miettinen is a 6’3 two-way forward who stands out for his forechecking, playmaking, and net-front positioning. Miettinen’s strong stick-work and body positioning make him adept in winning back pucks off dump-ins and extended in-zone sequences. Miettinen is always looking to move pucks across the slot, complemented by his smooth rush game and his slick hands. Without the puck on his stick, Miettinen funnels to the slot and demonstrates a solid blend of power and soft skill to get high-quality shots and deflections, or to make dangerous passes. Miettinen projects as a high-end, dependable bottom-six piece.
In June, The Hockey News’ Adam Kierszenblat profiled Miettinen and had this conclusion regarding his upside:
When it comes to the draft, Miettinen will most likely be a second-round pick. He has the potential to be a bottom-six forward at the NHL level, thanks to his already strong play in the defensive zone. Ultimately, he has the tools needed to have a successful pro career and could become one of the steals of this year’s draft.
Is Miettinen an elite prospect in this year’s class? That’s probably a no. But between his size, skill, versatility, adaptability, and his ability to win face-offs pretty consistently, he’s a player that teams probably see as having a lot of impressive, projectable tools.

The numbers

Miettinen had 31 goals and 36 assists for 67 points over 61 games in his rookie season in the WHL. He added four points in nine playoff games, and also had a goal in five games for Finland at the Hlinka Gretzky Cup. Miettinen was a distant third among WHL rookies in points, trailing behind Terik Parascak and Gavin McKenna.
More impressively, Miettinen won 55% of his face-offs. He took 250 more draws than the next-best WHL rookie, and was one of just 23 WHLers that took more than 1,000 face-offs.

Availability and fit

Teams love players that can win face-offs, and doubly so if they have size. At the very least, being someone that can play up the middle who’s over six feet tall and pushing two bills – and wins a lot of draws – will make him an attractive commodity. Miettinen’s adaptability will also gain him admirers among the scouting community. A lot of teams will have their eye on his availability.
Miettinen has appeared in the late first round on a few rankings, but generally he’s more frequently seen in the second round, trending towards the middle of the second round. He’s the type of player that if your team can nab him somewhere in the 40s there’s a lot of upside and potential value to be had as he continues to develop going forward.

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