Within the large bank of hopes of the Montreal Canadiens, the name of Jesse Ylonen could be considered to be the most intriguing.
The expert of The Athletic Mitch Brown has recently made a statement about it, claiming that if the attacker landed immediately in the national hockey League (NHL), he would have already one of the best skating of the circuit.
At the beginning of march, Ylonen joined the Rocket of Laval after finishing his season in Finland. However, it was ultimately played no game with the cast of Joel Bouchard before the pandemic of sars coronavirus does not interrupt the activities of the american League.
For fans, montrealers, who have only been able to see it at work at the camps of team development, Ylonen therefore remains a mystery.
But on the other side of the Atlantic, he is a player that knows very well a recruiter in the NHL who has agreed to talk under the cover of anonymity with the TVASports.ca.
He liked Ylonen during the year of his last chance in 2018, and this, even if its director of recruiting amateur was less fond. He suspected that the CH was going to select, having crossed Shane Churla and Trevor Timmins several times in his games in the second half of the season.
“He has a good skater, pretty good hands, a good sense of hockey, offensive and a very good shot, noted by the evaluator of talent. Defensively, he needs to be improves. It would have been really interesting to see in Laval.”
“If all goes well : “top-6”. If it goes less well, it is “bottom-6″, he predicted. I am confident, I believe that there is enough dynamism in his game.”
A projection may seem optimistic when we cast a glance at his card offensive. But there is a “but”…
In 20 years, let’s say that the young Finn has already faced a lot of adversity.
“He has not been lucky in that, in the year of his draft, he played in a team in the second division and it was a disaster because it went bankrupt, was told by the recruiter european.
“Now, it’s been two years that he is in Lahti, finland. This year, the Pelicans really have not had a good season. There are games that I’ve seen during which the entire team was playing really poorly.”
This puts into perspective the lack of progress Ylonen in terms of statistics. After having collected 27 points in 53 games against the men in the Liiga last season, the winger is just 22 points in 2019-2020… which did not prevent him to finish in second place of the scorers of his team.
Our recruiter remembers a match, on the 29th of January last, during which Ylonen was trying so hard to cause things on the ice.
“He played with a good rhythm. He was just not able to convert his chances. The whole team was horrible that day, but I could see that Ylonen was trying to do things, to produce offensively, but there’s just nothing that resulted.”
When you ask the scout if the development of Ylonen could follow that of Kasperi Kapanen, winger and talented Toronto Maple Leafs, the comparison is not immediately dismissed on the back of the hand.
“It could be similar. But, I would have taken Kapanen before him had they been in the same draft”,-he specified.
An important year
If the young man has potential, there are certain aspects of his game that raises concerns.
“What makes me a little scared, this is his template, he is about 6 ‘1″. But he is not beefy. It is thin. It does not involve either a game, very physical. For North America, it is that which makes me a little afraid.”
And it is for this reason that it will be very interesting to see it at work in the american League. He will face an opposition more powerful, but it will also be much better surrounded than it was in Finland.
Meanwhile, the potential Ylonen continues to intrigue. But the next season may be revealing. The explosive skater will be able to fight for a position at the next training camp of the Canadian, who has signed the contract of entry of three years on march 26.