NHL Free Agent Watch: Antti Suomela

Antti Suomela has made tremendous strides in his game over the past few seasons. While he recently signed with HIFK, it seems likely that he will be moving to North America as the Liiga’s leading scorer is reportedly drawing NHL interest. Suomela is currently playing at the World Championships in Denmark.

The 24-year-old center had an excellent season for JYP in the Liiga, collecting 21 goals and 39 assists in 59 games. He scored six game-winning goals, tied for second most in the league. At 5-on-5, Suomela scored second most points per 60 minutes (3.03) and third most primary points per 60 minutes (2.29). His production was very impressive, especially since he had sixth most ice-time among forwards on his team. With the past two seasons combined, Suomela has 105 points, tied for league lead with TPS forward Tomi Kallio.

Apart from his great point production, Suomela is very good defensively in all three zones. He is proactive without the puck as he anticipates and thinks the game very well. His first few steps are quick and he has deceptive top-end speed. He has good passing skills and can create space for his linemates, plus he’s not hesitant to put quick wristers on net either. As he continues to get stronger, the late bloomer could be a valuable part of an NHL team’s prospect pool.

Advanced stats in the article were taken from: https://steperi.shinyapps.io/rawtable/