The Winnipeg Jets have selected Finnish defenceman Ville Heinola 20th overall. He is the top defenceman left to be picked and the consensus 23rd overall selection. Fair value on tat front for the Jets.
Heinola recored 9 points in 9 games in the Finnish u-20 league and then went on to record 14 points in 34 games as a defenceman in the Liiga. This is very good for a young man who turned 18 in March. He is an offensive defenceman and while he will not play in Winnipeg this upcoming season, he will probably be able to help the Jets sooner rather than later.
Heinola is a talented offensive defenseman. Despite not having blazing top speed, Heinola is a great skater. His edge work is amazing. He’s a very smart player with good vision and passing skills. He also has pretty impressive one-on-one skills. Because of these talents, he can move the puck and also skate it up the ice himself. His shot isn’t the most powerful you’ll see out there but it’s good, and he’s very good at finding open lanes to get pucks to the net.
His defensive game is pretty good but there’s still room for improvement. He needs to add more muscle to win more puck battles, and he needs to improve his defensive zone coverage. He’s good at defending against rush attacks already, and his high hockey sense allows him to become a good two-way player. Heinola is a potential first round selection for the 2019 NHL Draft. Jokke Nevalainen (source)
For a second opinion, read his profile at Habs Eyes on the Prize where it is noted he can play his off-side. He will return to Finland to play next season.