Canucks: Joni Jurmo has the instruments. However…

The large Finn oozes ability — however considering the sport, having hockey smarts, is a ability too.

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Joni Jurmo’s potential is apparent.

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He’s huge. He’s bodily. He’s a swish skater. He has first move.

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However the elephant within the room stays the identical because it was the day he was drafted: Can he suppose the sport rapidly sufficient to be an NHL defenceman? That’s the query hanging over Jurmo and most of his friends on the Canucks’ summer season growth camp, which wrapped up Thursday at UBC.

In his draft 12 months — the Canucks picked him within the third spherical in 2020 — he put up 28 factors in 43 video games for Jukurit’s U-20 workforce, a strong complete for a blueliner enjoying towards opponents generally two years older.

However his first 12 months after being drafted, enjoying for JYP, he struggled to regulate to males’s hockey and plenty of puzzled if the issues raised by some that Jurmo’s hockey IQ wouldn’t regulate to professional hockey have been already proving true.

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Jurmo acknowledged his first season as a professional was a wrestle — however he believes his progress over the previous two seasons, the place he moved groups to Jukurit, particularly his most up-to-date one, present he’s figuring it out.

He’s not a seventh defenceman anymore, for starters.

“The tempo was increased (in professional), however now I really feel I’ve improved lots and I really feel like my recreation is true the place it must be,” he mentioned. “I performed way more persistently (this previous season). I improved my defensive recreation, and you already know, that was my purpose, to play increasingly minutes within the males’s league.”

Mikkelin Jukurit defenceman and Canucks prospect Joni Jurmo celebrates after scoring the overtime winning goal in a SM-Liiga game on Wednesday against TPS. Jukurit won 3-2.
Mikkelin Jukurit defenceman and Canucks prospect Joni Jurmo celebrates after scoring the additional time profitable purpose in a SM-Liiga recreation in February. Photograph by Mikko Kankainen /Submitted

This season was additionally the primary for the Canucks’ re-built growth division. Jurmo mentioned he acquired numerous video suggestions from Chris Higgins, Mike Komisarek and Mikael Samuelsson.

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The Sweden-based Samuelsson visited him in individual a number of occasions.

“There was lots about how I must defend a man with out the puck and likewise a whole lot of hole management, and (Samuelsson) was actually completely happy how I developed my hole management,” he mentioned. “Simply small particulars.”

The best way expertise now permits coaches to ship common suggestions from far-off might be very useful to a participant like Jurmo, Komisarek believes. And Jurmo has the inside drive to place all of it collectively.

“Quite a lot of these guys have an actual sturdy understanding who they’re, what’s gotten them right here, after which figuring out these areas the place they might construct and having a want to place the work in,” he mentioned.

Jurmo is a type of guys, mentioned Komisarek.

Rick Knickle, the jovial ex-goalie who scouted for years for the Nashville Predators and Arizona Coyotes and who know runs a non-public scouting service referred to as Team33, says he favored what he noticed in Jurmo throughout his draft 12 months and was impressed by the development in Jurmo’s recreation he noticed throughout Wednesday evening’s Canucks prospects scrimmage on the UBC, three years after he was drafted.

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“Every part comes all the way down to the mind,” he confirmed. “Are you able to study?”

Hockey sense is all the time the very first thing Knickle seems for when taking a look at a participant who’s going to be drafted outdoors the primary two rounds.

“Then character or work ethic. Ability is nearly third. You don’t want guys to attain lots, simply handle pucks. That’s playoff hockey. It’s alongside the partitions.”

And in Jurmo, he sees a participant who has an opportunity.

“Him and (the opposite Elias) Pettersson are going to be very related, though I’d price Pettersson just a little forward of him as a result of he’s two years youthful,” he mentioned.

“They’re each within the mould of Mattias Ekholm. Second pairing guys. They’ll transfer pucks. These are the fellows it is advisable encompass the Hugheses and the Hroneks with.”

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Joni Jurmo #4 of Finland skates with the puck while being pursued by Liam Ohgren #25 of Sweden in the IIHF World Junior Championship on August 19, 2022 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Joni Jurmo #4 of Finland skates with the puck whereas being pursued by Liam Ohgren #25 of Sweden within the IIHF World Junior Championship on August 19, 2022 at Rogers Place in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada Photograph by Andy Devlin /Getty Photographs

Jurmo is about for one more season in Finland, now with Ilves.

“I’ve an understanding of what I want to enhance on. I even have an enormous will to show myself that I’m a official prospect and that I could make the NHL sooner or later,” he mentioned.

“I really feel like my skating is absolutely on a reasonably good degree. I can nonetheless enhance my footwork within the corners,” he mentioned of the place his recreation remains to be rising. After which he grinned.

“I may enhance my, like, hockey sense.”

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