Prospect Report: Veeti Miettinen
Updated: Apr 19, 2020
Veeti Miettinen has been a rollercoaster for me to watch this season. Miettinen had won me over coming into his draft year, but didn’t quite have the start to the season that I was expecting. He was dynamic with the puck, and his shot was still fantastic, but he just seemed less engaged without the puck. Miettinen thrives off of finding small pockets of ice to finish from, and his game is completely different when he’s not doing it. Since November though, Miettinen has looked awesome. He’s buzzing around the ice with and without the puck, and has been involved in the majority of his team’s scoring. Miettinen led the Jr. A SM-Liiga with 42 goals, a single season record, and 14 more than the next highest scorer. His 73 points also led the Jr. A SM-Liiga, 12 more than the next highest total. He’s way too good for the Finnish Jr league, but he had to play out the entire season there to maintain his NCAA eligibility. He’ll be heading to St. Cloud State next season where he’ll instantly be their top offensive threat.
Miettinen’s skating ability is elite, his feet are some of the quickest amongst draft eligibles, as is his agility in tight spaces. When he accelerates, it looks like he’s hopping, and his top speed is fantastic. Here’s a prime example of this, watch his footwork once he picks up the puck:
He reaches his top speed so quickly, and he’s able to maintain it. He can beat defenders straight up, or burn them with a deke. Through the neutral zone, he’s one of the most effective puck carriers in the entire draft. Watch him blow past a whole line of defense en route to a scoring chance:
Here’s a few more examples of Miettinen’s stellar transition play:
He’s a slight player at only 5’9 and 159 pounds, but he maintains a low center of gravity which helps him stay on his feet most of the time. Coupled with his insane agility, he’s a serious problem in the offensive zone:
He’s able to release from coverage so fast there, and he makes a perfect no-look pass to a wide open option in the slot. Miettinen’s hands are just as quick as his feet, and he’s able to make plays like that very consistently. Miettinen creates offense in all situations, but he’s deadliest on the power play. He’s one of the most patient players I’ve ever seen, and he can break down coverage so well. Miettinen’s quick nature allows him to change shooting and passing lanes to open up new options at will. Watch him work the defense on these power plays:
He’s also a possession monster at 5 on 5. Miettinen chases down pucks like a hound, and is able to win the majority of races with his speed. He’ll come out of nowhere on the forecheck to force a turnover, and then create multiple offensive chances by himself. Here’s one of my favorite shifts of his this season:
Miettinen’s playmaking skills are about as good as they can be, but that’s still not his premier asset. Miettinen’s shooting is unbelievable. He can pick corners from absolutely anywhere, and his release is probably the quickest in the entire draft class, including Holtz. His one timer can’t be stopped if he gets all of the puck, and he’s also got a pretty wicked backhand. I won’t be shocked if Miettinen scores close to 20 goals in college next year. I’ve picked out a few examples of his impressive shot here:
Miettinen is a seriously skilled player, and deserves to be drafted in the first round, possibly even the top 20. He’s going to develop into a superstar at St. Cloud and will be in the conversation for the Hobey Baker by the end of his college career.