With plenty of talented players on the draft board heading into Day 2, the Leafs opted to move down and take advantage of the depth by trading the 44th overall pick to the Senators for the 59th and 64th picks overall. While the pick cost the Leafs a shot at players like Jan Mysak, Jeremy Poirer, the Leafs made the decision to go with quality and quantity by adding the extra high 3rd round pick and then using the later 2nd rounder on…
So what do you want to know about Hirvonen?
Well, he’s a Finnish center. He’s playing in Liiga right now. A lot of people are going to focus on the 5’9 aspect of Hirvonen, and certainly size might force him onto the wing if he comes to North America.
From Elite Prospects:
Hirvonen is dutiful in the defensive zone, maintaining an elevated work rate and putting on a clinic in body-leverage going into puck retrievals. He does a fantastic job of anticipating plays, closing passing & shooting lanes, and making defensive switches on the cycle. He moves the puck with pace and regularly finds teammates with high-danger passes.
In his two games this season, Hirvonen has put up 1 point in two games. He had 16 points in 52 games last season, but was a point per game player at the World Juniors and put up 12 points in 9 games in U-18 international play.
The Leafs seem to be leaning towards players that are already playing which isn’t a bad strategy. They know where the player is at today, and they know they have a team for the 2020-21 season. It will be interesting to see if this approach continues through the later selections.