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Otto Makinen is part of the new golden age of Finnish hockey. It was a big year for the Finns, with prospects Patrik Laine, Jesse Puljujarvi and Olli Juolevi all in the LWOS top 10. Add in Markus Niemelainen and Makinen and their program is particularly strong in this year’s draft. The Finns road the play of Laine, Puljujarvi and Juolevi all the way to gold at the World Juniors, while Makinen got his own chances to star on the national team at the Ivan Hlinka tournament, the Five Nations tournament, as well as at the IIHF Under 18 World Championships, where he helped the Finns to another gold medal. Makinen plays his club hockey with Tappara‘s Under-20 team in the Jr.A. Sm-Liiga where he put up 30 points in 47 games. He did get in one game with the men’s team, playing in the Champions Hockey League tournament.
Otto Makinen Scouting Report: 2016 NHL Draft #59
Centre — shoots Left
Born May 21 1998 — Tampere Finland
Height 6’01” — Weight 179 lbs [185 cm / 81 kg]
Otto Makinen profiles as a goal scorer. He has an excellent wrist shot, a hard snap shot, and a good release on both. He also has a good one timer. Makinen gets to the front of the net where he bangs in goals with the soft and quick hands to pounce on rebounds and the good hand-eye coordination to get deflections. While he’s not a big hitter, he works hard along the boards to win loose pucks and get them to teammates. He also shows good passing skills, with the ability to thread pucks through tight openings, and the vision to find open teammates. He reads the play well and makes smart plays with the puck. Makinen could stand to work on his stickhandling. He protects the puck well in the cycle game, but does not have a lot of slick one-on-one moves. Makinen works well in the cycle game and can extend possession. He could stand to add some weight, particularly core strength so he can be stronger on the puck going forward.
Otto Makinen is a decent skater. He has good top end speed and acceleration. Makinen has the type of quick changes of pace that once he gets a step on a defender, he can take a couple of powerful strides and be gone. He has decent edge work and agility, and is able to maneuver through traffic either with the puck, or to find openings in the opposing defence. His power and balance can be improved with added strength and muscle mass. This would help him to be more successful at driving the net.
Makinen has been utilized in a defensive role by Finland. He is often matched against the other team’s best lines, and plays a key role on the penalty kill. He is good in the face-off circle, and plays a smart positional game in his own end of the rink. Again, he’s not a big hitter, but he does get involved in battling on the boards, and using his body to keep his man to the outside on the cycle. His quick feet help him to always stay between his man and the net.
Makinen has the type of two-way skills that make him a good bet to make the NHL. The question here is if his offensive game will continue to develop, and if he is consistent enough on a game by game basis. If the offence comes he could be a second line centre, but is more likely to be a third liner. His game is comparable to Lars Eller of the Montreal Canadiens, but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on his skill or potential.
The following is a compilation of Otto Makinen highlights, assembled from youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the #59 prospect on our NHL Draft Board.