This was the first pre-season game for Jokerit U20 and considering the fact that it was late July, the level of play was pretty good. The first period was a bit chaotic from both teams, but there was some nice intensity throughout the game. Jokerit won 3-1 with goals by defenseman Otto Tolvanen and forwards Sampo Paulaharju and Jaakko Heikkinen. I didn’t have the line-up for Dynamo and thus I followed the Jokerit players closer.
- The first line of Sampo Paulaharju, Aleksi Ainali and Ville Leskinen was solid. Left wing Paulaharju worked hard and appeared to have fairly good offensive timing. On top of that, he scored the second goal in the third period. Leskinen made some nice plays too and assisted Paulaharju’s goal.
- Center Jaakko Heikkinen played a versatile game, helping the defense with solid puck support and showing offensive prowess. His goal was a very quick shot right from the slot area – could have had at least one more. Pretty good in face-offs and protected the puck well in the offensive zone. Oula Kuure was quite good, assisting Heikkinen’s goal and winning some battles in the offensive zone. Kuure wasn’t able to showcase his heavy shot much, however.
- Because Jokerit was rolling five lines, Linus Nyman didn’t play that much in the first two periods but still left a solid impression. Nyman was very solid at face-offs and played a surprisingly physical game for his size, constantly battling with a lot of energy. He once took the puck away in the end boards, then displayed some quick hands around the net. Also, he seemed to be a tad quicker than last season. It was a promising game by the 99.
- Defenseman Kalle Sundell, who was the captain for the U18 team last season, was very physical at times and had one big hit on the open ice. Sundell didn’t stand out with his passing or skill level, but played with a lot of energy.