March 26, 2021

Koivunen named U20 SM-sarja rookie of the year

Ville Koivunen, a top Finnish prospect for the 2021 NHL Draft, has won the Yrjö Hakala Award as the rookie of the year in the U20 SM-sarja, the league announced on Thursday.

The Karpat U20 forward finished his season with 23 goals, 26 assists, and 49 points in 38 games. That total placed him third in the league and led Karpat U20. His 23 goals were second in the league and his 26 assists were ninth overall.

Recent recipients of this award include Kaapo Kakko (2018), Miro Heiskanen (2016), and Sebastian Aho (2014). In addition, Koivunen was named to the league’s Second All-Star Team.

“He’s a stocky and feisty winger who goes into the dirty areas and isn’t afraid to get chippy after the whistle,” FCHockey’s head crossover scout Derek Neumeier wrote in a recent scouting report. “He’s a smart player who shows a very good understanding of how the play is unfolding and where he needs to be to influence it. Has poise and vision when the puck is on his stick.”

Koivunen’s point total led all 2021 NHL Draft-eligibles in the U20 SM-sarja as well, with his goal and assist totals both finishing second.

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