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Flames Top 25 Under 25: #9 - Juuso Valimaki

Last year’s first round pick has his eyes set on Calgary this fall

2017 NHL Draft - Round One Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

#9: Juuso Valimaki

Position: D

Age: 19

Team: Tri-City Americans (WHL)

Drafted: 2017, 1st Round, Pick 16

Last Year: #13

Voting Points: 2426


Last year’s first round pick really impressed with his development during the 2017-18 season. Valimaki had solid numbers in Tri-City, putting up 45 points in 43 games. He helped the Americans reach the third round of the WHL playoffs (Including sweeping the first two rounds) before they were dispatched by the Everett Silvertips. Valimaki’s production really ramped up in the playoffs where he had 17 points in 12 games, while also playing through injuries.

He also captained Finland at the World Junior championship where he had 4 points in 5 games. Unfortunately the Finns were knocked out in the quarterfinals of the tournament in a shootout (still the worst way to decide a playoff hockey game).

In terms of our fan voting, Valimaki finished over 400 points above Brett Kulak at #10, and just a few points shy of both our #8 and #7 players on the list.

Valimaki’s wealth of experience in big games over the past few years sets him up to really perform well this upcoming season. He’s already mentioned in public that he has his eyes set on making the Flames out of camp.

It may be tough for Valimaki to make the Flames right away, but he stands to benefit from getting some top pairing minutes in Stockton as well.

An interesting caveat about Valimaki’s current ELC, is that if he doesn’t play in 10 NHL games this year, his contract will slide forward one year. Essentially he’ll get a free year of AHL development and still have three years on his ELC through 2021-22 which is pretty awesome.

Valimaki looks to be the real deal, and it’s time to see if he can prove himself at the professional level, whether that be in Calgary or Stockton.

What do you think of Valimaki’s ranking? Vote in the poll! Click here if you can’t see it.

Poll

What do you think of Valimaki’s final ranking?

This poll is closed

  • 3%
    Too High
    (7 votes)
  • 56%
    Too Low
    (116 votes)
  • 40%
    Just Right
    (84 votes)
207 votes total Vote Now