Granlund, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound center from Oulu, Finland, was a dynamic scorer in his own right during the 2009-10 season. In his first season with HIFK in the Finnish Elite League, he led all rookies with 40 points in 43 games.
Just as impressive, however, was his ability to make the players around him that much better.
That high level of skill earned him the No. 1 spot on Central Scouting's final ranking of European skaters for the 2010 Entry Draft, June 25-26 in Los Angeles.
"Saku Koivu clone," Stubb said. "He's small, but no one's told him he's small. He has a really good, winning attitude, works very hard. He's tough, and he has very good hockey sense."
He displayed some of that skill and hockey sense playing for Finland at the World Junior Championship and the World Under-18 Championship. In Saskatoon at the WJC -- one year after he had 2 goals in 6 games as the tournament's youngest player -- he had team-highs of 6 assists and 7 points as Finland finished fifth.
At April's U-18 event, he was even better, leading the tournament with 9 assists and finishing second on his team with 13 points. Most of his assists went to linemate Teemu Pulkkinen, helping him salvage an injury-plagued season with a tournament-high 10 goals.
"He's an awesome playmaker with great hockey sense," Pulkkinen said. "He can do everything on the ice, so he's a great playmaker. It's fun to play with him."
"Saku Koivu clone. He's small, but no one's told him he's small. He has a really good, winning attitude, works very hard. He's tough, and he has very good hockey sense." -- Goran Stubb, NHL Director of European Scouting
Granlund is used to hearing questions about his size and strength, and admits it's an issue he needs to work on.
"Everything I need to work on," he told NHL.com. "Skating is the biggest thing. And I need to get more power."
That will come with the same sort of physical development most 18-year-olds go through as they get older. His skill-set, however, already looks finely tuned. He's likely going to need at least one more year in Finland -- Granlund said he has no interest in playing junior hockey in Canada when he can play in the top men's league in Finland -- and continue getting bigger and stronger.
When he does come to the NHL, scouts expect him to become a top-line playmaker for whatever team drafts him.
"He's going to have to be a guy that's going to have to produce," a scout from an Eastern Conference team told NHL.com. "He's going to have to make things happen when he's that size. He can play. Marc Savard, he has to be that type of player -- he has to make things happen."
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org