Get to Know Miro Heiskanen

Date of Birth: 7/18/1999
Place of Birth: Espoo, FIN
Ht: 6’0″ Wt: 174 lbs
Shoots: Left
Position: Defense
Team (League): HIFK (Liiga)

Statistics

What Scouts See

EliteProspects:

An elite two-way defenceman in the making, Miro Heiskanen has a toolbox bursting at the seams. Very smooth skater whose general agility and athleticism is excellent and on display every shift. A confident puck mover with no issues running a play himself and starting a transition up-ice. Solid creativity and impressive puck skills. Always makes the high percentage play and doesn’t put teammates in dangerous or vulnerable positions. Willingness to play a physical game is not an issue, as he is often seen throwing the body. Defensively very diligent and proactive, keeping the opposition to the outside and cutting off open and common lanes.

Future Considerations:

A two-way rearguard that plays with strong mobility, speed and awareness…possesses excellent lateral agility and straight ahead speed…starts and stops very quickly and possesses a very smooth overall stride…carries the puck confidently up the ice and into the offensive zone…has impressive vision…makes very good passes, finding his teammates quickly and without hesitation in all three zones…takes quick, accurate wrist shots from the point…good foot speed enables him to keep gaps close….not afraid to use his body to separate the puck from an opponent or rub out an attacker along the wall… keeps his man to the outside…struggles with a lack of strength…displays pretty strong awareness defensively making quick stick checks to interrupt plays and then quickly turning the play back up ice…a minute muncher who shows high level intelligence and decision making…a potential top four blueliner displaying high end poise, puck skills and skating ability.

What BSN Avalanche Sees

Heiskanen has everything you look for in a top blueline prospect. He displays elite agility on his skates, offensive prowess that will easily translate to pro hockey, and a calm demeanor defensively that allows him to shut down opposing offenses with relative ease. He’s a teenager playing all situations in Finland’s top pro league and seeing a significant amount of success both offensively and defensively, an extremely rare feat.

His decision-making is a huge avenue for his success as he rarely creates difficult situations for himself or his team. This is a guy who flat out dominates from the back end and dictates the pace of play whenever he’s on the ice. He’s the top all-around defensive prospect this season and him measuring north of six-feet tall at the Combine allayed some concerns about his size, though he certainly doesn’t possess the hulking presence of your classic top-pairing defenseman.

Highlights

NHL Potential

Simply put, Heiskanen is a future first-line defenseman in the making. He has all the tools to be one of the league’s top two-way blueliners with his blend of offensive skill and steady defensive play. Size appears to be the only limiting factor in Heiskanen’s way of ascending to the upper echelon of NHL defensemen.

How Prospect Fits in Avalanche Organization

Heiskanen would immediately be the highest caliber blueliner brought into the Avalanche organization since they acquired Erik Johnson in a blockbuster deal in the middle of the night in 2011. It might be a year or two until he debuts in an Avalanche sweater but he would be the left-handed defenseman the team has been searching for the last several years. He would be the top prospect

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AJ Haefele

This Aurora, Colorado native moved to Katy, Texas at a young age but found himself right back at home in 2009 and would begin covering the Avalanche a year later.

Before joining BSN Denver, A.J. had been writing for and briefly managed the popular Avalanche blog, Mile High Hockey. A.J. has been providing detailed practice reports, training camp coverage, and in-depth looks at the Avalanche and their divisional foes since 2010.