Name: Kalle Loponen
TLN Top-20 Ranking From Last Year: N/A
Acquired: 2019 NHL Draft, Round 7, 204th overall
Why He’s In This Tier: Loponen is, in our opinion, a long shot for many reasons. The most obvious is that he was selected in the seventh round of the 2019 NHL draft. Seventh-round picks usually do not make the NHL at all, and even the ones that do tend to take a very long time.
Look at Andreas Johnsson, for example. Johnsson was a player that, when you peer through his pre-draft stats, definitely should’ve gone higher than the seventh round, and while he is rightfully viewed as a homerun of a pick, he still took five years to develop before becoming a regular NHLer.
If Loponen is going to be an NHL player, it’s not going to happen for a while. When you watch the tape, you get an even clearer indication of this.
I previously broke down Loponen’s game in depth here.
But, in short, Loponen is a smallish defenceman with some good tools that he hasn’t quite learned how to use yet. He can make a good first pass, but he panics under …
Author: 51Leafs / The Leafs Nation