Patrik Juhola was named the best player of the month for September in the U20 SM-sarja. Ässät is off to a great start this season and Juhola has consistently been one of their best players. He has adjusted swiftly to the league and he’s putting up points with a 8-6-14 stat line in 11 games. He is an intriguing prospect with size, awareness, good skating ability and he plays a solid two-way game. He has smooth hands and quality puck control, he’s effective at underhandling and he distributes the puck quickly to his wingers on line rushes. He makes the right plays and has a good eye for the game. He has a potent shot with a quick release and he doesn’t need a whole lot of space to put the puck where he wants. He could improve his one-timer, but I like his finishing ability from close range. He has a long stick which allows him to quickly regain possession, as well as to disrupt opponents. Juhola has good straight line speed and acceleration, but he will need to continue to improve his lateral mobility. His development curve is heading up and he has versatility and special teams assets which makes him a player NHL teams should monitor closely this season. He can play up and down the lineup and he has the tools to succeed in any situation. It probably wont’t take long until Juhola earns his opportunity to play at the next level and I think he could surprise a lot of people in the long run.
Cover photo: Heikki Westergård