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Ylonen has the potential to be a top-six scorer in the NHL, but there are certainly areas of his game that need to be refined. He will likely play another year or two in Europe before coming to North America. Ylonen needs to get stronger, and to work on his defensive game to make it in the league. Ylonen is the classic boom-or-bust style prospect. His game is reminiscent of T.J. Oshie but this is a stylistic comparison only, and not one based on talent or ability. – Last Word on Hockey
This is an interesting prospect because his skill level is very high but he’s not done it against a high level of competition yet. He spent the entire year in the Mestis, which is basically Finnish juniors, and his production was solid but unspectacular. When you compare his work in a weaker league to that of his fellow countrymen who did work in the Liiga, it’s obvious why Ylonen doesn’t have quite the same kind of hype attached to him.
He’s a guy that’s going to be a slow burn of prospect development as he needs to get into the higher levels of hockey in Finland before coming to North America and giving the pro game over here a try. As stated above, his skill level is the real deal but it’s basically all projection at this point. You want to see how he does against the big boys before really committing to him and that’s why he’s looked at as a second-round prospect.
That said, he’s a guy that may not last very long in the second round. He’s a good skater with great hands and a good shot to go along with solid playmaking skills. In fact, I’d classify him as more of a playmaker than goal scorer despite what his production for Espoo United was last year. He has a frame begging for more strength to be added to it and that should only increase his effectiveness from the wing. He’s a fun prospect to watch but you’re definitely dreaming on him.
He’s actually a solid fit for the Avalanche. Colorado is in dire need of more forward talent, especially at right wing, and given Ylonen has the kind of size the Avalanche could use more of at forward, this is a natural fit. He may not last until Colorado’s first selection in the second round at 47 but if he’s there, he would be a natural consideration. He’s got the kind of skill level all teams really crave but he doesn’t have the high-character, high-compete combination the Avalanche have targeted so much in the last couple of years. Colorado has tilted more towards high-floor, low-ceiling players in hopes of assuring they get NHLers from their draft class but this would be a good year for them to take some chances. Ylonen is definitely a chance.
#58 Future Considerations
#36 McKeen’s Hockey