Otto Koivula

Aaron Vickers

Koivula is a power forward possessing a mature and powerful frame, but one who also has deficiencies in his skating abilities and struggles to be efficient in his mobility. Because of his skating issues, he is often late on the play, late to a board battle or delayed on the back check to give support to his defensemen. At times, Koivula tries to cheat and anticipate the play to compensate for his slower feet, but that can also cause problems when he guesses incorrectly. Being that he is so big and strong, it is not just that his skating speed is that weak, but he lacks the power in his first few steps to be effective. One of his biggest strengths is his hands combined with his ability to use to his shoulders; Koivula can do some damage when he wants to cut to the net. Deep in the zone and around the crease, he can be heavy and very difficult to defend. His overall impact on the ice is trifling at times and can have irregular presences from shift to shift, often looking disinterested or just lacking in intensity on the ice. In the offensive zone, he can often look lost and out of position, which creates a lot of confusion with his linemates. Koivula does make some solid passes, although his passes can be too soft and lead to giveaways. His shot is heavy and dangerous, but could use some work on its release. Overall, if Koivula could improve upon his skating, work on his positioning and play with a more consistent compete level, he could become the kind of power forward numerous teams seek to add.   (May 2016)