Recently, the Dallas Stars signed Finnish forward Joel Kiviranta to a two-year ELC, growing their “Finnish Mafia” in the organization that consists of players such as Miro Heiskanen, Esa Lindell, and Roope Hintz.
Of course, when talking about Finland and Dallas, you have to bring up Stars legend Jere Lehtinen. Currently the General Manager for Finland’s national team, Lehtinen often provides insight into his players to both the Stars and other NHL teams:
Lehtinen downplayed his role in Kiviranta’s signing, but did mention that NHL general managers had spoken to him about the Finnish forward and others from the 2019 IIHF Championship team.
“Those guys have seen him, and I tell them what I’ve seen,” Lehtinen said. “Sometimes I will tell (an NHL GM) ‘You should maybe look a little more closely.’ Bottom line, they are making their decision, and so I didn’t play a big part (for Kiviranta), but I will say I like him as a player and I like how he plays the game.”
Lehtinen went into further detail as to what Stars fans should expect from Kiviranta:
“Really good skater, strong skater actually. He can accelerate pretty fast and up to speed. He’s not the biggest guy, but from what I’ve seen he can go hard in the corners, he’s so strong in his legs,” Lehtinen said. “He has pretty good skills. But I think there is upside where he can get better.
You can read more from Sean Shapiro’s piece here.
Around the League
It’s a bit of a longer read, but it’s absolutely worth your time:
An inside look at the interview process for an NHL Draft prospect https://t.co/tdiP2iT6tL— Katie Strang (@KatieJStrang) June 5, 2019
I don’t think the Stars are that interested in Erik Karlsson this time around, but man, it bugs me that they aren’t included here:
Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final is tonight, but will we see Zdeno Chara on the ice?
Do you think the Stars should be targeting someone from this list?
Meanwhile, here are some players who would be lucky if a team wanted to trade for them:
In keeping with today’s Finnish lead...