Hamilton Bulldogs Select Joni Ikonen
The Hamilton Bulldogs have selected Finnish centre Joni Ikonen with the 24th pick in the 2017 CHL Import Draft.
2017 – Second Round – #58 Montreal Canadiens
Ikonen becomes the second Montreal Canadiens draft pick to join the Hamilton Bulldogs. Having the minority owner of the Habs also own a junior team is beginning to display it’s benefits.
Mitch Brown – Eyes on the Prize: “A quick, elusive skater with a separation speed, he attacks the offensive zone in a variety of manners. He’s slippery in tight confines, and can easily turn explode past defenders and into open space. Most importantly, he keeps his feet constantly moving and is consistently engaged, making him the quickest player on any given shift. Ikonen combines his fast pace with high-end stickhandling ability and an arsenal of one-on-one moves at the top of the draft class. In stride, few are better with the puck on their stick. He’s a truly a dynamic stickhandler, and uses all shots of quick drags and flashy moves to gain the upper hand on defenders.” (Source)
Hockey Prospects 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.”
McKeens: “An undersized, yet disruptive presence in all three zones, Ikonen is one of a growing number of strong Finnish prospects plying their trade in Sweden. A point per game scorer in Sweden’s top under-20 league. Fast and mobile, he can seemingly score from anywhere.”
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.”
Ikonen will likely receive first line minutes with Will Bitten along with either Matthew Strome or MacKenzie Entwistle. This top combo will be critical towards Hamilton going deep into the 2018 post season.
Welcome to Hamilton Joni!
Featured Image: All Press Media