Camp will put these skills to the test, but it’ll be a tough transition. This is a good looking chart in terms of where the majority of the shots came from when Riikola was on the ice. Not much to complain about that Riikola had any control over. Riikola is a 26-year-old who comes from Finland. 2020 Pensburgh Top 25 under 25 list: Graduates and the departed, Looking back at the 2019 list of the top players in the Pens’ organization at the players who won’t be back on the 2020 T25U25 list. It carries an annual value of 1.5 million dollars. Juuso Riikola Bio Riikola, a defenseman from Joensuu, Finland, was never drafted by an NHL team and appeared settled in for a long career in Liiga, Finland's top professional league. Especially a team like Pittsburgh that is always close to the salary cap. In the same shift that he stuns an offensive push from his opponent, he’ll out-muscle the guys playing low in the zone to create space in the slot and hit twine. By RotoWire Staff Jul 19, 2020 at 10:45 am ET 1 min read Riikola was absent for Sunday's practice session, Rob Rossi of The Athletic reports. In 36 NHL games, he scored one goal and added six assists for seven total points. Could it be the last piece to his puzzle? He has also added 16 penalty minutes in those games. Regardless of the timeframe, Rutherford is making sure he gets an early start on a short offseason. Jack Johnson played 148 minutes on the penalty kill while Riikola played only two minutes the entire season shorthanded. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. His 6:27 of ice time included 1:41 on the power play. KalPa only had two players score more than 30 points (with the team-leader having 39) so a reminder that points and seasons are much different in Europe than what North American fans might think of when they see a stat-line. The deal is a two-year deal that will carry him through the 2021-22 season. Riikola might be able to fly around with a little more ease in a smaller rink once he gets used to the size. After 28 NHL outings, Riikola has just a goal and six assists. Solid play with an affordable contract make Casey DeSmith the perfect backup to Tristan Jarry. He is an RFA this summer. Riikola’s past international experience means a connection with a new teammate, as he played on the Finnish 2013 WJC U-20 team alongside Pens defenseman Olli Maatta. With a flat cap over the next couple of seasons, it is important for teams to have lots of depth and for cheap. Learn how your comment data is processed. NHL Seattle Expansion: who are the Penguins going to lose to the Kraken? If Riikola somehow manages to squeeze Jack Johnson out of the lineup if/when he returns next season, it would be ideal as possible for the Penguins and an even bigger win for Riikola’s professional career. Maatta and Jack Johnson are hot names in the rumour mill. But with 15 other teams averaging a weight of more than 200 pounds, his stature can be a bit of a concern. If I’m to be honest though, it just seemed like Kapanen talked him up a bunch because he’s his coach, and a coach isn’t going to tell the media he sucks. Fantasy owners can essentially pencil him out for 2019-20 for fantasy impact. He’s an international vet after six Liiga campaigns with KalPa, three as an alternate captain. Unfortunately for Riikola, his TOI and games tailed off in February and his last game was in the Penguins 5-0 loss on February 29th to San Jose. This is a minor issue, because Mike Sullivan tends to change around lines all the time. Vitals. As we touched on above, Riikola is representing the Finns in the currently ongoing World Championship tournament where he has no goals and two assists (and a +4 plus/minus rating) in eight games so far. Penguins' Juuso Riikola: Sitting out Sunday . Penguins prospects most likely to make an NHL impact this season. Justin Schultz is likely gone this season so there will certainly be some more minutes available for every other defenceman. Or should we just call it the 2021 season at this point? He had a pretty successful career in Finland and could just as easily return to Europe to continue his career. section: | slug: | sport: hockey | route: player_page | That would mean big changes for the Penguins as a team if Riikola is in the top six, but even as the seventh defenseman for Pittsburgh he would likely be playing at least half the season. The Pittsburgh Penguins have apparently done some scouting of the World Championships and liked something they’ve seen. He provides a lot of initial, defensive zone pressure and pressure on the puck. Mark Allan, June 2019 – Based on a promising 37-game NHL début (compared to just five AHL outings), the 25-year-old Finn earned a one-year, one-way extension worth an average annual value of $850,000. His rank based on avg proj (#214) is worse than his rank based on total fantasy points. As Riikola is a RFA, the ideal next season would be him coming back next season and playing the same way he did this season but in more than 36 games. Digging deeper reveals that both of his scores came on the power play, and he earned an average of 1:01 man-advantage time in his 16:41 total average ice time on a crowded Pittsburgh blueline. He might not be getting pushed around in the Finnish pro league, but the NHL is a whole different animal. The NHL Playoffs have not yet ended, however, the Penguins are staying very busy. He went undrafted in the NHL, however, his improvement in the SM-Liiga showed Pittsburgh there was potential. That’s not easy to do with the bulk of his time playing with standouts like Johnson and Ruhwedel (no offense to Chad, and all offense to Jack). Riikola’s smaller stature is actually tailor-made for the direction the NHL is going in regard to speed and skill. Though we provided some basic information and stats the day defenseman Juuso Riikola signed a one-year, entry-level contract with the Penguins, a proper scouting report … Not surprisingly when paired with Chad Ruhwedel, Riikola’s numbers went from the worst of his season to pretty solid stats with Ruhwedel as an underrated third pair. Regardless of the timeframe, Rutherford is making sure he gets an early start on a short offseason. When he plays, it’s been with veteran Chad Ruhwedel on a third pairing, but Riikola is getting an average of only 13:58 per game. He did much better in the advanced stats but his TOI numbers were under 14 minutes in the 36 games he managed to play, including multiple as a forward during the regular season. DobberHockey and Goalie Post launched in 2005, becoming the first independent fantasy hockey and starting goalie websites on the Internet. It started with a trade for Kasperi Kapanen and now continues with re-signing Riikola to a two-year deal. Despite only playing in six games in December, he put up his best numbers that month.