Ruben Rafkin

Born: 2002-01-08

Team: TPS (Liiga)

Position: Defenseman

Shoots: Right

Height / Weight 6-0 / 190


Rafkin played on TPS’ second pairing alongside Eemil Viro as TPS beat HIFK 3-2 in overtime to advance to the Liiga finals. The sturdy and tenacious defenseman logged 18 minutes of ice-time. He showed strong defensive prowess: he kept his gaps tight, closed space quickly and made several good defensive plays with his stick. He played with some aggressiveness along the boards and finished his checks with authority. Rafkin made a really good play for a primary assist in the third period. He made a nice move at the point to get around a HIFK forward, skated towards the middle while having the puck in his hip pocket and delivered a good pass to Josh Kestner, who scored with a one-timer. The puck came into Kestner’s wheelhouse so he could fire the shot immediately. In the overtime, Rafkin made a precise stretch pass in transition and Eemil Viro scored on the rebound after Kestner took the puck to the net. When the demands of the game get higher, Rafkin is able to elevate his game. At times his passing could have been more precise on the breakout, but overall he had a very solid game and played to his strengths.


Ruben Rafkin had a very good U16 Four Nations tournament. He contributed with his stable play in all three zones. He carried the puck into the zone on several occasions, displaying good straight-line speed and a quick first step. He had the ability to create offense when given room to maneuver. He possesses a heavy slap shot from the point, with good wind up and power on it. He made a good first pass out of the zone. Rafkin consistently improved as the tournament progressed and finished the weekend with four assists in three games. The versatile two-way defenseman has significant upside. He signed a tender with USHL’s Tri-City Storm for the 2018-19 season already in January.