Team: Alaska-Anchorage (NCAA)
Birthdate: 5th April 1996
Weight: 165 lbs
Tomi Hiekkavirta enjoyed a breakthrough season for HIFK U20 in 2015-16. He played big minutes from game to game and registered impressive numbers, especially for a defenseman, with nine goals and 18 assists in 45 games. He was consistently able to bring not only offense, but also solid defensive zone coverage because of the smarts and skating ability he possesses. In mid-April, Hiekkavirta announced his commitment to University of Alaska-Anchorage.
Hiekkavirta is a fluid, quick skater with impressive lateral agility. His strong edge work and pivoting also make him a very good skater. The 5’11 defenseman moves the puck very well forward with crisp passes. He’s calm, cool and sharp under pressure. He handles the puck comfortably and he also has a pretty good point shot. However, he’s also good defensively. While not particularly big, Hiekkavirta has good awareness in the defensive zone and he has an active stick which allows him to interrupt plays. A smart decision maker, he really stood out for HIFK U20 this past season because of the way he processed the game in all three zones.
Here is one of his nine goals from 2015-16 season against KalPa U20.