SURELY A HOUSEHOLD NAME
Iiro Pakarinen...where have I heard that name before?
At 22 years old, Pakarinen (listed at 6', 198 lbs) played sixty games with Helsinki of the SM-Liiga this past season. He notched thirty points, good for fourth on the team.
Copper and Blue's Derek Zona chatted with Iiro Pakarinen back in 2010.
I had the opportunity to chat with Pakarinen and ask him about his game. I asked him if he thought that (Teemu) Hartikainen's assessment was accurate. "Yes, the things that Teemu said to you are true," he said. "I play a very similar game to him. I have a pretty hard shot with good accuracy. I'm strong in the corners and on the boards, and I like to lay heavy hits". What about the offensive game, I wondered. Is Iiro a stickhandler, a setup man, a finisher? "I try to shoot every place where I am,", he said, echoing coach Pekka Virta's philosophy.
Pakarinen was drafted 184th overall in the 2011 NHL draft. This is a deal that will see him make 70K in the AHL, and his cap hit will be 812K if he makes it up to the big club. I can get behind these numbers.
PAKARINEN ON FILM
Here's some action of Iiro Pakarinen from the 2014 IIHF
I like what I see. Even if the deal is a complete bust, this is a deal that's low risk with the potential for some real upside. Thumbs up all around.