Team: Texas Stars (AHL)
Position: Left Wing / Right Wing
Height / Weight: 5-10 / 176
REPORT: MILWAUKEE @ TEXAS, AHL (MARCH 4 & MARCH 7, 2020)
The Texas Stars and Milwaukee Admirals faced each other twice within four days in March. There were many things to like about Joel Kiviranta’s performances. He consistently had a positive impact on the play. The 5’10” winger read the game well both with and without the puck. On the power play, he was the “bumper guy” and did a good job of getting open in the middle of the offensive zone. At five-on-five, he gave precise, productive passes and I especially liked how he used bank passes off the boards to distribute the puck. He was trusted to kill penalties as well. Skating is another plus, as he has a quick first step and strong edges. His speed enabled him to get to pucks quickly, as well as apply pressure to opponents. I firmly believe that Kiviranta could develop into a solid NHL winger down the road. Smarts, skating and versatility are his calling cards and I think he has potential for higher point production than we’ve seen in the AHL so far.
SEASON NOTES: 2018-2019
Kiviranta scored 16 goals and 31 points for Sport which missed the Liiga playoffs by only two points … 14 of the goals came at even strength … had some minor injuries that limited his season to 48 games, yet he was one of the top players on the team … had a strong World Championship tournament on the fourth line, winning gold and chipping in offensively with three points … a highly energetic, versatile winger that competes hard and can cause havoc for the opposing defense on the forecheck … not the biggest of players in stature but can initiate contact and likes to throw his weight around from time to time … quick and shifty with good acceleration from a standstill … very good top-end speed …. decision making and defensive reliability have continued to get better … has a good, improving shot and some puck skills to create chances in the offensive zone.
Cover Photo: NHL.com