Rasmus Ristolainen

Darren Walker

Ristolainen is a big, smooth skating two-way blue liner that displays maturity and poise beyond his years. He moves around the ice well with good transitions, edgework and balance on his feet. He displays strong legs and ability to outmuscle his opponent in getting the puck out of his zone. While not overly fleet-footed, he can join the rush or carry the puck up ice himself and does so every time there’s open space. He does have the recovery speed to get back if the rush breaks down. He consistently keeps his feet moving when the puck is on his stick and has his head up monitoring his options. His feet allow him to stay between the puck carrier and his net while defending. He has shown ashes of some decent hands but prefers to keep things simple and take the safe option to avoid mistakes, such as willing to dump the puck out when his options are covered and pressure is on him. When he does get the outlet, Ristolainen makes crisp and mostly accurate short range passes. From the point, he has a very good, hard shot that he gets on net consistently. While he still has some problems with a strong forecheck and will just hold a puck too long in some instances, his decision making has improved from where it was last year. He’s also not afraid of contact and often initiates it. He is best described as an opportunist physical player; one whose hits are timely and only looked for when blatantly in front of him but does go around looking to get his nose dirty. A passive style of play seems to be best t for him as he is most con dent and consistent relying on positioning rather than a crash and bang style. Shows good stamina and can play heavy minutes. He has a great head for the game; knows his limits and typically plays up to them. Ristolainen is trusted by his coaches and teammates even though he is 10 years younger than most of them. (May 2013)