Weight: 205 pounds
Date of birth: March 6, 1999
Hometown: Joensuu, Finland
OHL Draft: Round 2, 113th overall, 2016 CHL Import Draft
Kingston Frontenacs’ defenceman Eemeli Rasanen represented his native Finland at both the World Hockey Challenge Under-17 and at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. After watching him in the latter tournament, there was no doubt that Rasanen was a monster physically while at the same time he had to make huge strides in other areas, such as his skating- which is more awkward than anything.
The Frontenacs selected Rasanen in the second round, 113th overall in the Canadian Hockey League’s Import Draft in 2016. He was also selected in the 2015 USHL Draft by the Sioux City Musketeers in the twelfth round, 194 overall.
Rasanen made the jump to the Ontario Hockey League and it wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows early on. He looked to be having a difficult time transitioning to North America, but that faded quickly. He appears to have worked hard on his skating, but still has some ways to go, especially his technique and adding even more speed. At the Hlinka, he was beaten to the outside with speed easily. Now, he’s using his long reach and a quicker step to prevent being beaten.
There’s no question Rasanen’s physical game. He uses his 6’6”, 205-pound frame effectively. In fact, he looks as if he enjoys and relishes physical contact. He has the physical strength to knock players over on the rush, pin opponents along the wall, and wins battles defending his goal. He’s improved on his transition game and makes a good first pass.
While Rasanen doesn’t lack hockey IQ, it appears average. He won’t dazzle you with puck rushes, but after making his first pass, he’s showing more willingness to jump into the play, but he does it intelligently and picks his spots.
Rasanen has showed a steady improvement offensively. He has four goals and seventeen assists through forty-four games this season but is getting more involved as of late. He has a hard-booming shot from the point but has a difficult time finding the space to get it away.
Rasanen projects to be a shut-down defenceman who can put up a little offence but patience will be required as he is a project.
On NHL Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings, Rasanen was ranked 20th among OHL skaters and 57th among North American skaters.
This is the profile page of Eemeli Räsänen at http://www.eliteprospects.com