Team: Pelicans U20
Position: Right Wing
Height / Weight: 5-9 / 179
FINAL 2019 NHL DRAFT RANKING:
19. LW Aleks Haatanen – Pelicans (U20)
Haatanen’s strong season with Pelicans U20 and U19 national team has put him on the map as a potential NHL Draft pick. Haatanen is a skilled, instinctive winger who can execute high-level passing in the final third, especially on the man advantage. The winger plays with his head up, he has poise and he is always looking to make a play. He’s a smooth skater with good acceleration.
SWEDEN @ FINLAND U20, FEBRUARY 10, 2019
Haatanen was noticeable on Finland’s first line, playing alongside Otto Kivenmäki and Samuel Salonen. The smallish winger showcased a quick release on his wrist shot – he can shoot without much set up. Accuracy was good as well, though he did miss the net on a good chance from the slot late in the game. Haatanen is a good set-up guy as he has a lot of skill and good vision. His passing was very good in the offensive zone. He made a really nice play in the third period where he drew an opponent before feeding the puck to the defenseman at the point. He played with his head up, enabling to see the whole ice. He read the game well off the puck and was constantly in a good position to make a play. The late 2000 is an intriguing prospect and his development has been trending upwards this season.