The 2017 NHL Entry Draft was riped with young Finnish defenceman that were slated to be picked in the first round. If you’re team was interested in selecting a defenceman, there’s a good chance Juuso Valimaki, Urho Vaakananainen, or Henri Jokiharju was somewhere on their draft board.

After Miro Heskianen was selected third by Dallas as the first Finnish d-man, the next player projected to go was Valimaki. The Calgary Flames dipped their toes into the Finnish factory of defenceman, selecting Valimaki with the 16th overall pick. In hopes of catching the eye of NHL scouts, Valikmaki came over to North America as a 15-year-old, and was chosen 14th overall by the Tri-City Americans in the 2015 CHL Import Draft.

Based on where Valimaki was drafted, he’s done everything right so far, and on Saturday night, he definitely showed why he was highly regarded last June.

With his team leading 1-0 over the Spokane Cheifs in the second period, Valimaki showcased his smooth skating strides ability and aggressiveness to jump up into the play. The move he pulled to beat the Chiefs goaltender was pretty absurd. Remember the Marek Malik move? Jonathan Cheecho also made it famous, too.

That was done with one of his teammates in the penalty box, too. That’s a high-risk, high-reward play if you ever seen one. Even though one of his forwards were covering for him, Spokane could’ve easily countered and gone up ice for a odd-man rush on the man advantage, which isn’t a good recipe when you’re trying to kill a penalty, especially as a defenceman. 

For a rearguard listed at 6-2, 204-lbs, Valimaki has some pretty swift moves, and he makes it look rather effortless and so easy.

The 19-year-old has four goals and eight assists in 12 games with the Americans this season. Valimaki will be a staple on the Finnish blueline come December when the World Juniors get underway.