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2017 NHL Entry Draft Prospect Profile: Jusso Valimaki

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Could the Dallas Stars want this two-way defenseman from the WHL?

Tri-City Americans v Kelowna Rockets Photo by Marissa Baecker/Getty Images

Name: Juuso Valimaki

2016-17 Team: Tri City Americans (WHL)

Stats: 60 GP, 19 goals, 42 assists, 61 points, 34 PIMs

Future Considerations Ranking: 12th

NHL Comparable Player: Mattias Ekholm

Before I start going into who Juuso Valimaki is and his skills and talent level I have a confession to make.

When I thought the Dallas Stars were going to be drafting anywhere from 8th to 12th, roughly, I thought that Juuso Valimaki would be a good pick for them.

While he is probably a major reach at third and he is highly unlikely to still be available with the Anaheim Ducks first rounder I still think its a good idea to profile him in case the Dallas Stars move down a few spots.

Valimaki is a smooth skating, big two way defenseman. He is 6’2”, 205lbs and finished with 61 points in 60 games in the WHL last season.

He is described by scouts as a rock in his own end and having an impressive ability to break up the rush. He doesn’t get steamrolled by opposing forwards and doesn’t cough up the puck under pressure.

Valimaki can control the game from the blue line, being able to turn on the speed to join the rush offensively despite his size or simply by being a calm presence if the play comes back up the ice.

He can find the open man and set them up for the goal or can exploit gaps left by goalies with his own quick wrist shot.

What Valimaki could project to at the NHL level varies between various scouting organisations.

Most agree he has the smarts and skills to play on both the powerplay and penalty kill and excel at both.

Last Word On Sports says he could be a top pairing defenseman who can log in big minutes while McKeen’s Hockey think it is more likely that he will be a top four defenseman.

Like I have already mentioned I don’t think my hopes for a Valimaki-Klingberg top defensive pairing will come to pass.

He won’t be drafted by the Dallas Stars simply because of where he is predicted to go in the first round.

If the Stars move back by trade to between 8th and 15th I can see Valimaki being a pick that they could make.