TLN Prospect #4: Roni Hirvonen makes life difficult for his opponents

Roni Hirvonen is just 20 years old, he’s currently starring for Team Finland at the World Juniors, and yet he already has three seasons of professional hockey under his belt. Maturity has been the name of the game for Hirvonen since his draft year and is a major reason why he became a Liiga regular at just 17 years old.
Coming into the 2021-22 season, Hirvonen was looking to take the next step as a player. While he showed flashes in his DY+1 campaign, particularly at the 2021 World Juniors, he failed to take a notable step offensively and had somewhat stagnated in the Ässät system.
A move to HIFK and a full-time shift to the left wing was just what Roni Hirvonen needed to spark that uptick in performance, bumping him up two spots on the TLN Prospect Rankings and reinforcing the middle-six potential that made him a second-round pick in 2020.
Roni Hirvonen
LW | HIFK (Liiga) | Age: 20 | 5-foot-9 | 172 lbs | Shoots: LAcquired: 2020 Draft, 59th Overall | 2021 Ranking: #6
While beginning his Liiga career with Ässät was a benefit given the ice-time and opportunity to play at the professional level, it showed its negatives in Roni Hirvonen’s DY+1 season. Playing on a team that finished fourth from the bottom of the Liiga standing …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

Fraser Minten wants his next stop in Toronto to be playing for the Leafs inside Scotiabank Arena

He’s been to Niagara Falls, the CN Tower, and a Toronto Blue Jays game but Fraser Minten is excited for what’s ahead with the Maple Leafs.
The 18-year-old was one of 44 skaters taking in his first day of development camp in Toronto, just over a week after he was drafted by the team in Montreal.
“It’s all happening pretty quick,” Minten said after day one. “It’s been great, the camp’s been great these past couple of days, first couple skates. The coaches are really good, lots of detail in what they teach us, and it’s been awesome so far.”
There were two groups of skaters throughout the day on Sunday, each getting an hour and 15 minutes of ice-time with the Maple Leafs’ development staff. Minten was a part of the first group of players, skating alongside prospects such as Matthew Knies, Max Ellis, Veeti Miettenen, and Axel Rindell.

Matthew Knies is skating with Fraser Minten and Mathieu De St. Phalle at #Leafs development camp.
— Nick Barden (@nickbarden) July 17, 2022

The 18-year-old was one of the players who stood out in the first group who skated on Sunday. Of course, the highly anticipated Knies was also among the players who had a strong showing on day one of camp.
“It’s a pleasure to be here,” said Knies who’s getting his first taste of Maple Leafs development camp. “Alongside all of the best players the Maple Leafs have, so it’s definitely been fun. Exciting first day. I’m excited for the rest of the week.”
If you remember back to the NHL Trade Deadline, Knies was playing with the decision to leave school and join Toronto, or remain at the University of Minnesota. In the end, we all know what happened, and …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation