After an impressive finish to the 2018-19 Liiga season, Joonas Oden looks poised for taking an even bigger role next season. The 2000 born KooKoo forward has emerged as a prospect during the past two seasons and has shown intriguing potential with his skating and offensive abilities.
2018-19 Season Notes
Oden started the 2018-19 season with KooKoo’s U20 team. The team got off to a very good start and the winger got on the scoresheet in seven of the first eight games. Oden made his Liiga debut on September 26 against HIFK in Helsinki. He recorded two points in his first 13 games at the men’s level, however, his ice-time increased later on the season after several strong performances. He scored five goals and four assists in the last seven Liiga games which is very impressive production from the 19-year-old forward. He created offensively and looked dangerous with the puck. At the U20’s, Oden finished the season with 41 points in 44 games. He also appeared in seven games with the U20 national team.
Oden’s biggest strength is without a doubt his skating. His first few strides are quick and he uses powerful strides to hit very good top speed. His mobility is also impressive for a player of his age. Oden has the agility to make tight turns and cuts with the puck and he’s capable of separating himself from defensemen. His speed makes him a good penalty killer, too, as he is quick to apply pressure and maintains good gap control.
The right-shooting 6’0″ winger also possesses good offensive skills and understanding of the game. He handles the puck well in small spaces and he can deliver smart passes both in the neutral zone and offensive zone. Oden has a potent wrist shot that is both accurate and quite hard. He gets shots on net on a regular basis and he’s capable of creating scoring chances both for himself and others.
An area for most improvement would be his physical game. He could play with some more snarl and become tougher to play against. He would become a more complete player by adding situational toughness. All in all, Oden is an offensively gifted player who skates really well and is also quite versatile. He signed a two-year contract with KooKoo in March and will have a chance to take on an even bigger role with the Liiga team next season.
Cover photo: Tomi Jokela / All Over Press