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World Cup: Projected Finland roster

Laine leads crop of young, confident players who could contribute immediately

by Marko Leppanen / NHL.com Correspondent

These days, Finland doesn't have to worry about how it will compete with the world's best hockey nations. If anything, those countries might be sitting around wondering how to stop the mighty Finns.

Lauri Marjamaki, who's entering his debut tournament as coach of Team Finland, is facing a positive problem because so many promising young talents are blossoming in Finnish hockey, including Patrik Laine, Sebastian Aho, Jesse Puljujarvi and Mikko Rantanen.

The question is: how many young players can be added to the team for the tournament?

"I don't think [of] it that way," Marjamaki told NHL.com/fi. "I mean, for me the age is not a factor at all. Even if you're a more experienced player, it doesn't automatically mean that you have a high confidence level."

Talking about confidence level, these players really have some. 

Finland has a lot of options at forward and goalie, but defense may be an issue. Only six defensemen played in the NHL this season, including Petteri Lindbohm, who had no points in 10 games with the St. Louis Blues. 

The Finnish staff has until Friday to decide. We decided already.

Video: CAR@FLA: Jokinen's gorgeous goal from the left circle

THE FINAL 7

F: Patrik Laine (Tappara), Sebastian Aho (Karpat), Miikka Salomaki (Nashville Predators)

D: Jyrki Jokipakka (Calgary Flames), Juuso Hietanen (Dynamo Moscow), Lasse Kukkonen (Karpat)

G: Mikko Koskinen (SKA St. Petersburg)

Laine, Aleksander Barkov (Florida Panthers) and Jussi Jokinen (Panthers) had great chemistry at Worlds, and that combination is expected to work in Toronto for the World Cup as well. 

Aho, a Carolina Hurricanes prospect, has showed his mature overall game during the season. He played for Marjamaki at Finnish Liiga powerhouse Karpat, a fact that likely benefits both player and coach. 

There's still room for a feisty wing who can create some havoc in front of the opponent's net. Predators prospect Salomaki is perfect fit for that spot.

Jokipakka, who was traded from the Dallas Stars to Calgary on Feb. 29, is capable of providing a solid game.

Finland has plenty of NHL goalies but Koskinen's reliable game at Worlds, which culminated with him being named the top goallie of the tournament, raised his stock enough to make Team Finland.

Potential lineup:

Forwards

Jussi Jokinen - Aleksander Barkov - Patrik Laine

Leo Komarov - Mikko Koivu - Mikael Granlund

Joonas Donskoi - Jori Lehtera - Teuvo Teravainen

Miikka Salomaki - Valtteri Filppula - Lauri Korpikoski

Sebastian Aho

Defensemen

Olli Maatta - Sami Vatanen

Esa Lindell - Rasmus Ristolainen

Jyrki Jokipakka - Juuso Hietanen

Lasse Kukkonen

Goaltenders

Pekka Rinne

Tuukka Rask

Mikko Koskinen

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