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 Veeti Miettinen.
Undersized Finnish winger Veeti Miettinen dominated in the Finnish junior leagues this year. Playing in the Jr. A SM-Liiga, Finland’s Under-20 league, he put up 42 goals and 31 assists for 73 points in 52 games. Miettinen was named to the league’s Second All-Star Team. He was an alternate captain for the Kiekko-Espoo U20 team. He also played nine games for the Finnish National Under-20 Team, scoring two goals and two assists for four points.
Miettinen scored 27 goals and 34 assists for 61 points in 48 games last season. He also added five goals and 11 points in 11 games. Miettinen was named the league’s Gentleman of the Year and helped his team to a second-place finish. He also played for Finland at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships scoring a goal and four assists in five games. At the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup, he scored two goals and three points in four games. Overall he had eight goals and 18 points in 25 games for the Finnish Under-18 team. At the 2017 Under-17 World Hockey Challenge, Miettinen put up three goals and five points in five tournament games. He is committed to coming to North America and playing for St. Cloud State next season.
Veeti Miettinen Scouting Report
Right Wing — shoots Left
Born September 20th, 2001 — Espoo, Finland
Height 5’9” — Weight 159 lbs [175 cm/72 kg]
Miettinen is undersized but has the skating ability to make up for that. He has an explosive first step and good acceleration. He reaches his top-end speed quickly and is fast enough to beat defenders, generating odd-man rushes or getting past them and heading to the front of the net. Miettinen also has very good lateral agility and edgework. He can change directions on a dime and makes tight turns. This allows him to avoid defenders both with and without the puck. Miettinen size hurts his strength on his skates though. He can be pushed off the puck and must get stronger before he can handle playing against men. Increased lower-body strength would also help his balance.
Miettinen is a high volume shooter. He is always looking to fire the puck on the net. He has an impressive array of shots. Miettinen has a very good wrist shot and an excellent release. He also has a very good wrist shot, one-timer, slap shot and backhand. Miettinen can elevate the puck quickly and has the hands to score in close. He is able to find open ice without the puck, setting himself up to take a pass and fire the puck on net. Miettinen likes to set up in the right face-off circle and take a one-timer from the opposite of the Ovechin spot. Off the rush, his speed must be respected and when defenders back off, he can use them as a screen and fire the puck on the net.
Miettinen can also play the role of a play-maker. He shows signs of making creative passes to teammates to set up scoring chances. He also has good vision and finds open teammates. That said, Miettinen is a shoot-first player when presented with two choices. Miettinen is a bit of a perimeter player though. He can be knocked off the puck when he tries to cut to the middle of the ice. He also has issues winning his battles along the boards. This will need to improve going forward.
Miettinen is willing to backcheck hard, bringing back pressure against the rush and supporting the defence down low against the cycle game. However, his lack of size can be a limiting factor as he can be overpowered by bigger and stronger opponents. Miettinen reads the play well and gets into good positions to intercept passes and create turnovers. He is a responsible player, helping to retrieve pucks and start the transition game. Miettinen’s quick stick also helps to knock the puck away from opponents and create turnovers.
Projection and Comparison
Miettinen has the skills and the smarts to play at the next level, however, his lack of size may hold him back. He must get stronger on the puck so that he can make plays in the dirty areas of the ice. His shots can beat junior goalies from the perimeter, but pro goalies are too good, and he will need to get in high danger areas to score consistently. Playing at the NCAA level will give him the time to improve his size and strength during the week, with almost all games on weekends. Miettinen’s game is reminiscent of Valeri Bure, however, this is a stylistic comparison and not one based on skill and potential.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Veeti Miettinen that are available on youtube and twitter.
— Lassi Alanen (@lassialanen) August 27, 2019
W Veeti Miettinen (2020) added yet another goal to his totals today. 17 goals in 23 games now.
— Jokke Nevalainen (@JokkeNevalainen) November 2, 2019
— Finnish Jr Hockey (@FINjrhockey) August 27, 2019
New game report @FinnProspects
Veeti Miettinen is an undersized offensive winger. He plays for Kiekko-Espoo U20 and is a projected 2nd round pick for the #2020NHLDraft. Below is a clip of one of the two goals he scored today.
— Jokke Nevalainen (@JokkeNevalainen) August 31, 2019
Veeti Miettinen (2020) scored a hat-trick in today’s U20 game between Kiekko-Espoo and Sport. The @SCSUHUSKIES_MH recruit is now up to 9G, 8A in 13 games in the Finnish U20 league this season. #2020NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/TAJpeznGij
— Lassi Alanen (@lassialanen) October 5, 2019
Here is a quick little video of the three goals scored by Finland's Veeti Miettinen against Slovakia today, a 11-0 win in U18 action. He's a late-2001 born prospect, so he can be drafted at the #2020NHLDraft. #NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/8wj2SM6YUi
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) December 27, 2018
— Jokke Nevalainen (@JokkeNevalainen) January 25, 2020
Veeti Miettinen is a decent skater with a lethal/accurate shot. He has good vision and does well setting up teammates. This season with Kiekko-Espoo U20, he scored 42 goals and 31 assists for 73 points in 52 games. He is a small guy, but he has a ton of potential. #NHL #Draft pic.twitter.com/XJwkwQelVL
— PR Hockey Scouting (@prhockeysc) April 9, 2020
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Veeti Miettinen Main Photo:
— Clare McManus (@claremcmanuss) June 2, 2020