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Getting to know Montreal Canadiens 58th-overall selection Joni Ikonen

The Habs cashed in and grabbed a highly skilled centre in Round Two.

Johan Rylander

The Montreal Canadiens made their third pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, choosing Joni Ikonen with the #58 pick.

Ikonen plays in Sweden in the powerhouse Frolunda system, and spent the majority of last season leading their junior team, where he scored 22 goals and added 19 assists. He had a 10-game stint with the top level club, but did not record any points.

eliteprospects.com

Ikonen is an extremely skilled forward who can do it all out on the ice, and doesn’t lean heavily towards one skill set over another. He can use his speed and skating ability to drive wide to the net or he can cut sharply and take the centre lane and take the puck to the crease.

While he can shoot the puck with ease and rack up the goals, Ikonen is a more than adept playmaker as well. He can get the puck into danger areas, and despite his smaller frame he has little issue going into corners against bigger opponents. The main trade-off is, with such skill and risk, turnovers will happen, but with talent like this that’s far from a big issue.

Scouting

Future Considerations

He is very crafty, possessing great hands and puck-handling skills. His soft hands are good for more than just dangling through a maze of opponents as he’s a creative passer with natural abilities. He’s a quick, darting skater who moves around the ice with ease. His size and speed make him elusive and he demonstrates an ability to spin off checks in the corners. One of his best assets is his wrist shot.

Hockey Prospect Black Book

Joni is a highly skilled forward with great skating and creativity. He does a great job of mixing up his puck decisions, not being labelled as a player who leans towards passing or shooting, making him a little more unpredictable.

Rankings

DraftBuzz Hockey: 39
Future Considerations: 62
Hockey Prospect: 32
ISS Hockey: 59
McKeen’s: 59
Craig Button: 36
Bob McKenzie: 45

It’s a great pick for the Habs at 58th overall. Ikonen adds high-end talent to a prospect pool that desperately needed an infusion. It’s not unlike the Habs to grab skilled European players in these rounds. In the past players like Artturi Lehkonen and Sven Andrighetto have been steals for the Canadiens, and Ikonen can be as well. Coupled with the previous pick of Josh Brook at 56th overall, the Habs have knocked the ball out of the park in the second round today.