Joonas Niemela

Aaron Vickers

An average sized two-way forward who does a little bit of everything well but nothing elite. Doesn’t make the best offensive decisions and hasn’t found any consistency in the attacking zone this season, often tries to shoot through a wall of defenders or misses his opportunities to make a clean pass to a clearly open man. Plays a really solid defensive game, especially for a five-foot-11 player with limited reach and coverage; he defends very well. His positioning without the puck is impressive, whether it be in the neutral or defensive zone. Niemelä also displays above-average puck control and good skills in close. He does not have a goal scorer’s shot, but does shoot often and gets the puck off his stick quickly. He forces defenders to turn the puck over with his aggressive forecheck, chasing down loose pucks. He skates just well enough, not showing any glaring speed or burst. His puck protection is so strong that the defenders are often forced to take a penalty to contain him in the offensive zone. A raw but interesting case to further develop into a two-way threat after more seasoning. (May 2015)