2020 NHL Draft eligible forward Roby Järventie had a strong season with KOOVEE in Mestis, Finland’s second-highest league. The 17-year-old winger finished the season with 38 points in 36 games. His 23 goals were tied for the third most in the league. Moreover, he broke the league’s record for most goals in a season by a U18 player. He was named to the second All Stars team by public voting.
“I think my Mestis season was a very successful jump to the next level. Especially production-wise the season maybe even exceeded my own expectations a bit. I got a lot of responsibility from the coaching staff right from the very beginning, both at even strength and on the power play, and I got to play with our top players throughout the season, so it was easy to adapt to the men’s games.”
Järventie made his Liiga debut with Ilves in December last year. Ilves took a 5-2 win against Jukurit. Two days later, he scored his first career Liiga goal. The goal ended up being the game winner in a 4-2 win against HIFK. Järventie eventually played five Liiga games in the past season.
“It was great to get to play my first Liiga games and kind of have a childhood dream come true. I got to see what the game is like there and what it requires to be able to play in the league.”
Järventie spent almost the entire season in the Liiga and Mestis. It was the next step for him from the U20 league. He says that playing against men developed him a lot.
“I think my overall game improved during the season, especially my play in one-on-one battles got better,” he added.
The 6’2″, 185 pound left wing describes himself as “a goal-scorer with good size and skating, one whose strengths are in the offensive zone. My biggest strengths are skating, shot and goal-scoring.”
Järventie mentions a few areas of improvement that he should particularly focus on.
“My overall game is still an area that needs to get better. Consistency also requires improvement and the difference between a good game and a bad game needs to get smaller.”
He has represented the Finnish youth national teams a number of times. Of all the events that he has participated in, Järventie’s best memories are his first national team games, the World Hockey Challenge from 2018 and the European Youth Olympic Festival from 2019.
Järventie likes to follow certain NHL players but hasn’t really gotten influence on his game from any player.
“Of course I do generally watch dekes and goals and maybe try some of them in games,” he added.
When I asked how he has been training during the Corona pandemic, Järventie said that “I have been training in a group on SAHA Training which is led by Jarkko Näppilä. The hockey team practices will begin gradually, so I will continue my training there then.”
Big thanks to Roby for the interview and best of luck going forward!
Cover photo: Tommi Valkokari / Aamulehti
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