Predictions are the craziest thing, eh?
Armed with the #5 pick at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, the Canucks selected Olli Juolevi, D, London Knights.
Current Team: London Knights, OHL
Date of Birth: May 5th, 1998
Place of Birth: Hensinki, Finland
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 183 lbs.
...he puts the pressure on and lays it on thick. A strong and balanced skater, he can rush the puck through the neutral zone with ease or backcheck with haste. Uses his size to his advantage, but knows his physical limits and plays within them. Instead of playing overly physical, he makes his presence felt by exhibiting his high-end playmaking ability and puck possession play. - Curtis Joe, Elite Prospects
We'll have more shortly. In the meantime, check out the following profiles from JacketsCannon.com and FiveForHowling.com.
On Ice Performances
It's been an amazing year for Juolevi! Juolevi was on the World Junior champion Finnish team that won the Gold this winter; was named a 3rd team OHL All-Star; and won the Memorial Cup.
Some say Olli Maatta, some say Ryan Suter, and some even go so far as to compare him to recently retired Red Wing superstar Nicklas Lidstrom. Juolevi joins Jordan Subban, Andrey Pedan and Nikita Tryamkin among other blueline prospects for Vancouver but probably jumps to the top of that list in short order. The best part of his projection is his poise, vision and stick handling; the calm, sensible approach to the play as opposed to taking chances or trying to bowl people over projects his skillset to develop into a top pairing D man.
Some more Olli quotes:
Olli Juolevi of the London Knights is an incredibly competent player who makes the game look easy in all areas. He makes the essential and key plays at every turn. He shows mastery of his position under the most challenging of circumstances, and his poised, calm demeanour are the stuff of pillar-type defencemen. - Craig Button, TSN
This smart, composed two-way blue liner plays the game in a very mature, experience manner. He is calm and focused although sometimes he could play with a tad more urgency in his own zone. He is strong in his one-on one defensive play using his stick and positioning to break-up plays. His passing ability is elite for his age and he is strong at moving the puck. He generates impressive speeds with a strong, balance stride and good agility to keep up to attacking forwards. - Future Considerations
Smart two-way defender with size. Fluid skating stride with quickness and speed. Very effective running PP, has a very high panic threshold when being pressured. Not physical, relies on body positioning and a good stick to defend. Very good skater with mobility, good gap control and pivots. He has solid point production this year, which is due to the way he reads the ice so well and finds the open man. Equally as good on defense as he is on offense. Close to being NHL ready. Still needs to get stronger physically as he has a lanky frame. - ISS Hockey