Every season, scouts from Future Considerations spend countless hours gathering information on the next wave of NHL talent coming down the pipe. Sweden-based Future Considerations scout Fredrik Haak is no different.
Here is Haak’s notebook for November.
Kasper Simontaival, RW, Finland (5 Nations), 5-9, 172, 1-11-2002
Finland 1 @ Sweden 4 – November 7, 2019
This is the first time I’ve seen Simontaival play and I was really impressed with his effort. He is very explosive and has a great speed, which he uses almost every shift. He handles the puck excellent and is never afraid of challenging the opponents in one-on-one situations, which he often does with success. He is very confident and holds on to the puck in the right moment and when he makes passes he seems to create a scoring opportunity almost every time. On the power play, he sees things that just a few players see and he makes unpredictable passes and actions. Simontaival is really dangerous and can create goal-scoring opportunities by himself. He is not afraid of playing physical and handles that part of the game well. He works hard in the defensive part. He complete his checks and does backcheck to help his team. He covers his defender and when they capture the puck he is always ready to go to a quick attack. In his own zone, he could be more determined and play straighter to avoid long shifts. Overall, Simontaival is really interesting to follow and plays with a fantastic energy. He makes things happen by himself and if he continues to work to improve the defensive part and so on he will be a good pick early in the second round in the 2020 NHL Draft.
Emil Andrae, D, HV71 (SuperElit) 5-9, 183, 2-23-2002
HV71 6 @ Södertälje SK 0 – November 22, 2019
Andrae is for sure one of the best defensemen in the league in many aspects. He has a low center of gravity and great speed and therefore often avoids to get caught during his offensive journeys. In the defensive part he reads the game well and follows his opponent and does not get outplayed very often. He has great speed both back and forth in his skating and works with his stick to win pucks which he often does in tight situations — for example when penalty killing. Andrae helps his other defender well to be playable and make a quick breakout with long, accurate and hard passes that hits the stick on his teammates almost every time. He is a great leader and talks a lot on the ice to guide and help his teammates in many situations. In the offensive parts of the game he has a fantastic way of making things look very easy. He plays a lot on the power play and is very confident of holding on to the puck all over the rink, and especially in tight situations along the blue line where he plays with a huge calmness. His puck handling and wrist shot is great. When he doesn’t have the puck, he moves a lot to be playable and often moves towards goal to confuse the opponents. Andrae is very solid and often stands up in the right moments on the blue line to win back the puck along the boards. Sometimes when he is too offensive he forgets the defensive part, which he needs to work on. At the moment I see Andrae as an early second-round selection.
Noel Gunler, RW, Luleå (SHL), 6-1, 176, 10-7-2001
Luleå HF 3 @ Djurgårdens IF 1 – November 14, 2017
Gunler is an offensively well-developed forward that is starting to get comfortable with the games in SHL. He doesn’t have the best speed in short distances but after a while he comes up in rather good speed — like when he comes down deep in his own zone and gets the puck and then he often gets through the defense with the puck in control. He is not afraid of challenging the defense and he plays with confidence even though he does not get that much ice time. He sees the ice well and set up both forwards and defenders to shooting chances with good and accurate passes. Gunler had minimum of time in power play, which he does well. He takes great shots and you can see that he has a mindset of looking for goals. In his own zone, Gunler sometimes looks a bit weak along the boards but overall he works hard and puts himself in great positions to cover areas. I would like to see him finish more checks instead of just putting his stick into situations. Overall, I think Gunler is a great forward with huge potential but needs more time on the ice and especially in offensive moments. I would pick Gunler around the middle to latter part of the first round.