Ristolainen, Saros debate who was in charge of room

Saturday, 06.01.2013 / 3:07 PM | Mike G. Morreale  - NHL.com Staff Writer

TORONTO -- There seemed to be a difference in opinion between Finnish countrymen Rasmus Ristolainen of TPS and Juuse Saros of HPK after their stay at the Westin Bristol Place during the 2013 NHL Scouting Combine this week.

Ristolainen, No. 4 in NHL Central Scouting's final ranking of the top draft-eligible European players, informed the media Saturday following Day 2 of fitness testing that his roommate for the week was Saros.

Ristolainen, who is regarded as one of the more physical defenders among all the European players eligible for the 2013 NHL Draft, seemed sure about one thing too.

"I think I'm the boss in our room," Ristolainen (6-foot-4, 207 pounds) said. "I'm bigger and older. He's just a junior."

Saros, Central Scouting's No. 1-ranked goaltender, thought otherwise when asked who he thought was boss.

"I think it's 50-50, but he thinks he's the boss," Saros (5-foot-10.25, 178 pounds) said. "We've been fine though. We have good chemistry."

Saros, who said he hopes to play in the Finnish Elite League, SM-liiga, next season, excelled for the bronze medal-winning Finns at the 2013 World Under-18 Championship in Sochi, Russia, in April, finishing 5-2 with a 1.86 goals-against average, .946 save percentage and one shutout in seven games.

Ristolainen had three goals and 15 points, logging 25-minutes per game in SM-liiga in 2012-13.

NHL Director of European Scouting Goran Stubb said Ristolainen was arguably Finland's top defenseman at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championship. He finished with two goals, six points, a plus-5 rating and registered 17 shots on goal in six games. His six points tied for the team lead among defenders with Ville Pokka, a second-round draft pick of the New York Islanders last June.

Follow Mike Morreale on Twitter at: @mikemorrealeNHL

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