Eetu Luostarinen is an underrated prospect who could hear his name called in the 2017 NHL Draft. He produced points at a good pace for KalPa U20 this past season, scoring 19 points in 23 games. At the Liiga level, he put up three goals and four assists in 32 regular season games, as well as one goal and two assists in 17 playoff games. He also had some good moments on the international stage. Luostarinen is ranked 83rd among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
Luostarinen is a rangy 6’2 center who already plays a solid pro-style game. He has a soft touch with the puck and can move it quickly and with precision. Has good puck control in the corners and can work his way to the net by using his size to his advantage. He’s a player with strong hockey sense and technical skills. He has a hard wrist shot and the ability to get into good scoring positions. He is defensively responsible and uses his stick really well. He knows when to cover a pinching defenseman and also helps down low in the defensive zone. Moreover, the forward saw his ice-time increase in the Liiga as the season progressed. He was impressive in the Liiga finals, exhibiting confidence with the puck.
Luostarinen has solid skating mechanics but could improve his acceleration and become a tad quicker. He doesn’t have elite speed; however, he is pretty mobile for a player of his size and is strong on his skates. Additionally, he could improve in the face-off dot.
This year’s NHL Draft is expected to be very wide open, even in the first round. I do consider Luostarinen a solid late-round option, even though there hasn’t really been much buzz around him prior the draft. He already showed he can play at a good level in the men’s league and could really break through in the upcoming season.