Welcome to the 2021 Edition of the Vancouver Canucks Top 25 Under 25 Rankings. The list includes all players born after January 1st, 1997. Seven staff writers (Beggsy, Westy, Kent Basky, CanucksAbbyFan2, Markus Meyer, Noah Strang, Harsunder Singh H) and two outside writers (Daniel Gee & Cam Robinson) cast votes for the project.
Joni Jurmo’s draft +1 season didn’t go according to plan.
The lanky Finnish defenceman got his first taste of action in Finland’s top hockey league after a strong showing in the junior circuit, prior to being drafted. However, his initial experience in Liiga was a bit of a nightmare.
Jurmo was often used as a third-pairing or seventh defenceman, even on a JYP team that was brutal all season long. The stat line ended up being forgettable, as Jurmo finished with no points and a -11 in 20 games played.
On top of that, the 19-year-old wasn’t even considered for Finland’s World Junior squad last winter, despite the fact that he played for his country internationally the year prior. Even during the World Junior summer showcase in July, his home country decided to invite five undrafted defencemen over the Canucks 2020 third-rounder.
However, it wasn’t all doom and gloom for Jurmo. He arguably stuck around in Liiga longer than he should have because of COVID protocols in Finland which limited player movement. Once he was sent down to Mestis for the final 10 games of his season, Jurmo looked much more comfortable, registering three goals and eight points.
What’s Next for Jurmo?
There’s a lot to like about Jurmo’s toolkit, which we talked about in last year’s rankings after he was drafted by the Canucks. His speed and edgework are arguably his strongest traits, which bodes well for his NHL future. His hockey sense, however, is something that he needs to improve upon in the upcoming season. Jurmo likes to carry the puck up the ice himself, which can sometimes get him in trouble.
Jurmo’s situation last year was less than ideal, playing as a spare part on a bad team. Well, Jurmo has gone from the third-worst team in Liiga last season, to the second-worst in Jukurit.
It is a new season in Liiga however, and Jurmo is being coached by legendary Finnish NHLer Olli Jokinen.
#Canucks LII— CanucksAbbyFan2 (@Fan2Abby) September 15, 2021
#7 Joni Jurmo getting a couple of pucks through to the net in short order. He really appears to be thriving under Coach Olli Jokinen so far. I am keen on watching his development.
Pelicans 2 Jukurit 1 after one period pic.twitter.com/kVOQ7wYmcz
He’s only three games into the season as of writing, but the returns are already promising. Jurmo is a mainstay on Jukurit’s second pairing, playing around 18-19 minutes per night. He’s also seeing time on both the power play, penalty kill, and he’s been trusted in the final minute of play.
#Canucks FIN— CanucksAbbyFan2 (@Fan2Abby) September 10, 2021
Coach Olli Jokinen playing #7 Joni Jurmo in the final minute of a tie game.
JJ and his Jukurit crew tied 1-1 with KalPa after three periods and headed to overtime. pic.twitter.com/4zcoGEDWlG
After a 2020-21 year in which his stock dropped, this is an important season for Jurmo to let the Canucks know that he’s still a legitimate prospect. Jurmo will be in Finland for the next two years after signing with Jururkit in May.