With their third pick in the NHL Entry Draft, the Colorado Avalanche select Finnish forward Sampo Ranta. The 18-year old played last season with Sioux City Musketeers in the USHL and is committed to play for the University of Wisconsin next season.
Ranta was ranked as high as 18th among North American Skaters by NHL Central Scouting.
Ranta’s calling cards are his shot and skating ability. He is a big winger that is described as a “shoot and skate” forward. He has a few holes in his game that, if filled, can really take him to the next level.
There are so many things to like about Ranta’s game and it’s easy to get blinded by his speed. As far as negavites go, he needs a lot of work on his play without the puck and he’s never going to be mistaken for a facilitator that makes plays for his teammates.
He is worth the risk as a third round pick. This year will be very telling as he steps into the NCAA. If he could round out his game, Ranta could turn into a legitimate scoring threat as a middle-6 winger in the NHL.
“There’s a lot of guys who can skate fast, but there’s a big difference between guys who can skate fast and make plays at that pace with the puck. If you watch a NHL game you see a player like Connor McDavid. He skates fast, but is just as fast, if not faster, with the puck. He plays the game at a high pace. I think that is something that Sampo does from when we’ve played against him.” – Anthony Noreen/Tri-City Storm head coach