U16 Finland Lions Summer Cup Recap

The U16 Finland Lions Summer Cup took place in Helsinki during August 4-6. The teams that participated were HIFK Red, HIFK White, Blues, Blues Akatemia, KJT-Haukat and SHD Midwest from North America.

In the final game, Blues defeated HIFK White 4-2, getting two goals from forward Lari Posti and a very strong performance from goalie Aaro Soinio. Blues didn’t lose a game, since they took five wins of their six games. The game against HIFK Red on Saturday was a 0-0 tie.

In the bronze medal game, Blues Akatemia beat HIFK Red 4-2. 2003 born Blues Akatemia winger Klaus Jögi had a very strong game and produced three assists. All in all, there were three days of quality hockey.

Here are some prospects who stood out during the three days of the tournament.

03 F Jonni Kärkkäinen – HIFK White – Kärkkäinen scored five goals during the first two days. The center had great scoring touch around the net. A powerful skater with a good blend of size, skill and speed. However, although he utilizes his size to protect the puck, he was separated off the puck in board battles at times, so some additional muscle would help.

02 F Altti Suutarinen – HIFK Red – Suutarinen displayed a lot of puck skill. He was able to create space for himself in the offensive zone and fire good wrist shots from the slot. The forward also played a fairly physical game and provided a good, consistent effort defensively. Overall had a very solid tournament.

03 F Ville Niemi – Blues – He’s a very smooth skater with quick first three strides and strong backwards skating and overall mobility. He also has quick hands and good hockey sense. Niemi’s wrist shot featured a quick release and he utilized his speed to be dangerous on the rush.

03 F Verner Miettinen – Blues – Miettinen is a strong skating center who showcased intriguing playmaking abilities. Much like Niemi, he used smooth, quick strides to reach good top speed. He made many nifty passes and while he didn’t produce a ton of points (three assists), he certainly made an impact here.

02 F Robin Mürkel – HIFK Red – The big winger has some power forward potential. He scored a nice goal on Saturday where he hit the puck out of mid-air. He had a quick, yet somewhat inaccurate wrist shot. Played with high energy and had good straight-line speed, however, agility is an area for improvement.

02 D Petteri Nurmi – Blues – Nurmi was a top defenseman who played a smart game in all three zones. His puck management and decision making were strong in the defensive zone and under pressure. His passes were consistently crisp and tape-to-tape. He also got his shots to the net through traffic. He wasn’t extremely flashy but didn’t make many mistakes either.

03 G Jani Lampinen – HIFK Red – Lampinen is a tall, calm goalie with good mobility. He possesses quick footwork and tracks pucks well through traffic. His net coverage and rebound control were rather strong this weekend but they do require further development. He carried a heavy workload in a game against Blues that finished scoreless. Lampinen already spent some time with HIFK U16 last season as an underager.

Other notables: 02 F Lari Posti (Blues), 02 F Lenni Hämäläinen (Blues), 03 F Klaus Jögi (Blues Akatemia), 02 F Jimi Gustafsson (HIFK Red), 02 F Luc Reeve (SHD Midwest), 02 D Julius Jokinen (Blues), 03 F Niko Huuhtanen (Blues), 02 F Jesse Seppälä (Blues), 02 D Oliver Holttinen (HIFK Red).