When it comes to composure and poise, few defensemen in this entire draft can match Rajaniemi. That would help explain how he went from making his professional debut in the Liiga as a 17-year-old in the middle of February to being his team’s most-used defenseman just two weeks later. He never seems to break a…
|Oct 6/20||Rajaniemi Matias||D3294 – 2020 NHL Draft Guide||by FCHockey Staff||View Summary|
|Jul 16/20||Rajaniemi Matias||20900 – U18 5 Nations Review||5NT||by Derek Neumeier||View Report|
When it comes to composure and poise, few defensemen in this entire draft can match Rajaniemi. That would help explain how he went from making his professional debut in the Liiga as a 17-year-old in the middle of February to being his team’s most-used defenseman just two weeks later. He never seems to break a sweat or expend any energy, and he doesn’t really have to because he has spotless defensive positioning, good stride mechanics, a long reach and plenty of natural strength. Has an excellent understanding of where he needs to be and what he needs to do in the defensive zone. He is very strong and precise with his stick and uses his frame very well to pin opponents and make life hard for them. Isn’t afraid to stand up opponents with his size and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty in post-whistle scrums. He’s quite an advanced and impressive penalty killer for his age. Keeps his head on a swivel and makes simple, clean passes with accuracy and frequency. He’s never in a hurry to skate with the puck or join the rush, but that’s just as well because he’s not quick enough or skilled enough to play that way. Fights the puck at times when trying to handle it and doesn’t always have the vision to make offensive plays and his shot isn’t a threat at this point. Rajaniemi doesn’t have a particularly exciting ceiling but seems like a safe bet to become an NHL defenseman who can play on the third pair and kill penalties.