Laine named Liiga playoff MVP

Aaron Vickers2016 Draft Center

Patrik Laine has made a big push for first overall.

Laine, who turned 18-years-old last week, was named the recipient of the Jari Kurri Trophy as the most valuable player in the Liiga playoffs. He recorded 10 goals and 15 points in 18 games to help Tappara to the Kanada-malja for the first time since 2003.

“He proved to play his best hockey during the playoffs,” Future Considerations scout Jonathan Luomala said. “Being selected as the most valuable player of the Finnish playoffs as a junior is outstanding. Becoming the youngest player in Finnish history to reach 10 goals during the playoffs is magnificent, especially with only 10 players reaching this milestone, and one of them being Teemu Selanne at age 21.

“After watching his performance during the playoffs, I am no longer positive that Auston Matthews can claim the first overall pick.”

The Tampere, Finland native had 17 goals and 33 points in 46 regular season games, and helped Finland to a gold medal at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship with seven goals and 13 points in seven games.

Laine is currently second in Future Considerations’ ranking for the 2016 NHL Draft.