Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2020 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look at Oliver Suni.
The 44th overall pick in the 2019 CHL Import Draft, Finnish forward Oliver Suni made an instant impact with Oshawa Generals. He scored 12 goals and 20 assists for 32 points in 43 games in his first year in the Ontario Hockey League. Prior to the season, Suni played for Finland in the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup. He put up three assists in three games, in what was a disappointing tournament for the Finnish team.
In 2018-19 Suni played for Karpat’s Under-18 team in the Finnish Under-18 league. He was an alternate captain. Suni scored 19 goals and 17 assists for 36 points in 23 regular-season games. He also added four goals and 12 points in eight playoff games. Suni also played for the Finnish Under-17 National Team. At the Under-17 WHC, he scored three assists in six games helping the team to a silver medal. Overall, he played 20 games for the National U17 team, scoring six goals and 16 points.
In 2017-18, he helped Karpat’s U18 team to third place and the U16 team to second place in their respective leagues. He had 46 points in 41 games for the Under-18s and 12 points in 4 games with the Under-16s.
Oliver Suni Scouting Report
Right Wing — shoots Right
Born February 13th, 2002 — Kempele, Finland
Height 6’1″ — Weight 188 lbs [185 cm/85 kg]
Suni is a very good skater. He has a good first step and very good acceleration. Suni is able to change speeds to fool defenders on the rush. He also has very good top-end speed. He can take a defender wide and drive to the front of the net. Suni also has good agility and edgework. His turns are sharp and he has good crossovers, allowing him to accelerate out of them. He also moves well laterally, allowing him to get away from defenders both with and without the puck. Suni is strong on his skates. He works well along the boards, winning battles for loose pucks. He can also fight through checks, as he is difficult to knock off the puck.
Suni marries his skating with good stickhandling ability. He can lead the rush through the neutral zone, avoiding defenders and establishing possession in the offensive zone with a successful zone entry. He can beat defenders and cut to the net. As defenders have to back off to respect that, he can take advantage of wider passing lanes to make a play to a teammate. Suni play a very north-south game. He controls the puck well down low and can set up teammates if they get open, but he doesn’t really make a lot of creative plays to create offence. His ability to forecheck effectively, pressuring the defence and winning battles for loose pucks also helps him to create offence.
Suni has a decent wrist shot with a good release. He is accurate but needs to add some power to his shot. This may come as he continues to add muscle to his upper body. Added strength will also be necessary to continue to be effective on the boards and in front of the net. Suni is not afraid to use his body to screen goalies and create havoc in front of the net. He can pounce on rebounds and deflect a teammate’s shot from that position as well.
Suni is very good in his own end of the ice. He works hard and is willing to do whatever is necessary to help the team win. Suni is strong positionally. He reads the play well, anticipating what the opponent might try and putting himself in position to make plays. Suni also uses his active stick to cut down passing lanes. He is also not afraid to put his body on the line and block shots. Suni supports the defence down low, helping to contain the opposition’s cycle. He also brings good backpressure, taking good angles to help support against the opponent’s transition game. Suni is not afraid to play physically and will throw his body around to help make a play.
Projection and Comparison
Suni may not have the high-end offence to become a top-line player but there is still some skill there. He can develop into an effective third liner, who can kill penalties, play against opponent’s top lines, and also provide a little bit of secondary offence to a team. Suni could become a coach’s dream at the next level. The upside may not be as high end as some other prospects, but he is a good bet to contribute at the pro level. Suni’s game is reminiscent of Artturi Lehkonen, however, this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and potential.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Oliver Suni that are available on youtube and twitter.
This is why scouts love #2020NHLDraft prospect Oliver Suni. Not only is he incredibly fast but he'll get down and block shots like he does here. Steps in front of a huge Serensits point shot, beats him to the puck and then feeds Jacob Winterton for a goal to ice the game pic.twitter.com/zuxE7mdD1M
— Generals Live (@GeneralsUpdates) February 8, 2020
Oliver Suni (2020) shoots from the blue line but I believe Roni Hirvonen (2020) tips it in – it definitely hits something in front of the net, just not sure if it was Hirvonen or a Czech player. #HlinkaGretzkyCup pic.twitter.com/5fh0HlPyfe
— Jokke Nevalainen (@JokkeNevalainen) August 6, 2019
Great work by the Oshawa Generals on the power play. Love how Tyler Tullio steps in and runs the power play. Good lateral movement and pass opens up the scoring chance. Oliver Suni with the goal. pic.twitter.com/r2oD6bfgtL
— Josh Tessler (@JoshTessler_) January 25, 2020
Oliver Suni gets one back for the Generals on a 4-on-3! #OHL pic.twitter.com/bbnxT4Zill
— Caitlin Berry (@caitlinsports) October 21, 2019
Oliver Suni (@Oliver_Suni) 2019-2020 highlights with the Oshawa Generals #2020NHLDrafthttps://t.co/pFUveciUOv
— Generals Live (@GeneralsUpdates) April 12, 2020
Oliver Suni scored his first career OHL goal and added three assists in Oshawa’s 5-6 win over Mississauga. He was also named the first star of the game. #2020NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/FYfaXEROR4
— Lassi Alanen (@lassialanen) September 28, 2019
For the first time this season, the #Gens go 5 forwards the powerplay and it pays off. Allan McShane goes hard to the net and the puck ends up on @Oliver_Suni's stick for his 2nd of the season, which would end up being the game winner tonight #2020NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/bD2yGCJw68
— Generals Live (@GeneralsUpdates) September 30, 2019
#Gens top line (McShane-Tullio-Suni) went off tonight, led by 4 points from @Oliver_Suni
A1: assist on Allan McShane PP snipe
A2: assist on Tullio to McShane dangle
G1: PP goal for first career #OHL goal
A3: breakaway feed to Tyler Tullio#2020NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/G4bfySxiYG
— Generals Live (@GeneralsUpdates) September 28, 2019
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Oliver Suni Main Photo:
OSHAWA, ON – FEBRUARY 14: Oliver Suni #19 of the Oshawa Generals skates during an OHL game against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds at the Tribute Communities Centre on February 14, 2020 in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Chris Tanouye/Getty Images)