Hirvonen’s production last season may not seem overly impressive, but he was playing in Finland’s top professional league after beginning the campaign as a 17-year-old.
The diminutive forward has also impressed on the international stage. He collected six points in four games for Finland at the Five Nations tournament in February and has also excelled for his country at several other events.
NHL Central Scouting pegged Hirvonen as the 10th-best European skater in its final pre-draft rankings after slotting him at No. 11 in the midterm edition.
« Hirvonen is a highly skilled playmaker, » wrote The Athletic’s Corey Pronman. « He’s the guy you want with the puck on his stick at the half wall. He has great patience to wait out lanes and sees the game at a higher level than others.
« He’s undersized at 5-foot-9, but he’s competitive – although I wouldn’t call him physical. Hirvonen is an elusive skater, but scouts’ main hesitation is that his skating is not all that exciting for a player of his size. »
Actu monde – FI – Maple Leafs select Roni Hirvonen with 59th pick