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Looking ahead to the 2019 Draft: Ville Heinola

The defenseman was an important asset for Finland in their most recent World Junior Championship win

by Pierre-Antoine Mercier, translated by Dan Braverman @CanadiensMTL / canadiens.com

MONTREAL - With the 2019 NHL Draft approaching, here are some options which could be of interest to the Canadiens, who hold the 15th pick in the first round. Today: defenseman Ville Heinola.

Player profile

Date of birth: February 3, 2001
Birthplace: Honkajoki, Finland
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 178 lbs.
Shoots: Left
Position: Defenseman
Midseason ranking, European skaters: 7
Final ranking, European skaters: 4

Stats

Season Team League Games played Goals Assists Points +/-
2018-19 FIN WJC-18 5 1 3 4 -1
2018-19 FIN WJC-20 5 1 1 2 +3
2018-19 Lukko Liiga 34 2 12 14 +7
2017-18 Assat U20 Jr. A SM-liiga 33 3 14 17 +4

Heinola won the World Junior Championship this past winter with Finland. The defenseman also had a strong showing during the World Under-18 Hockey Championship in April, finishing with four points in five games.

Tweet from @smliiga: Lukon toisen er��n pikamaalit ratkaisivat tiistaina nelj��nnesfinaalipaikan raumalaisten eduksi. Puolustajat Ville Heinola ja Rony Ahonen osuivat kahdesti 24 sekunnin sis����n! 🚨👏 #LukkoLis���� #Liiga-videoita 👉 https://t.co/005gf758kd pic.twitter.com/Lupkj6Vts3

When he was only 17 years old, Heinola started playing in Finland's Liiga last season. In his first campaign in the men's league, the 2019 Draft hopeful collected two goals for 14 points in 34 games.

Tweet from @smliiga: 17-vuotias #Lukko-puolustaja Ville Heinola iski perjantain Satakunnan derbyss�� #Liiga-uransa avausmaalin! Osuma syntyi 17. ottelussa. Debyyttikauttaan pelaava Heinola on merkkauttanut t��ll�� kaudella pisteet 1+3. 👏📺 @teliafinland pic.twitter.com/StZfVKwGa4

Expert opinion

"The 18-year-old is an excellent skater with hockey sense and playmaking ability. Heinola plays in all situations as an 18-year-old in Finland's top pro league, has good hockey sense and the patience to make plays with confidence." -Mike G. Morreale, NHL Central Scouting Bureau

"The left-shot defenseman was part of a very strong group that helped Finland win the gold medal at the WJC. His intelligence and his understanding of the game allow him to stand out." -Guillaume Lepage, NHL Central Scouting Bureau

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