Canucks: What defenceman Joni Jurmo brings to the table

Entering the second day of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft the Vancouver Canucks finally got to make their first pick. They selected Finnish defender Joni Jurmo.

Without a first and second-round selection in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft because of trades that helped the team acquire J.T. Miller and Tyler Toffoli, the Vancouver Canucks finally got to make their first pick on Wednesday.

General manager, Jim Benning decided to address the blueline by adding an 18-year-old Finnish defender named Joni Jurmo. It was the first of five picks that happened yesterday and it was a big one. The left-shot defenceman stands at 6-foot-4 and weighs just under 200 pounds.

Jurmo was a player that slid much further down the draft than most professional scouts were predicting. The Canucks were very fortunate to grab him at 82 considering the fact that J.D. Burke of Elite Prospects had him pegged at No. 46 overall. Canucks fans should be very happy about this choice.

For his bigger frame, Jurmo is considered to be an unbelievable skater. His acceleration is on another level and he uses it to help him move up and down the ice in both directions. He rarely gets beaten wide and he has an exceptional two-way game. The way he can dial in on the puck, strip the puck carrier and turn it up ice for an offensive opportunity is one of his best attributes.

For a guy of his size, he doesn’t actually have a howitzer of a slap shot. It’s not his strongest weapon, but he pitches in offensively a  few different ways. Laterally, he’s quick enough to walk the line and either get a shot on net for a tip or rebound. He uses his vision to find the open man and he’s not afraid to have the puck on his stick until he finds the right person to pass it to.

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It’ll likely be two or three years until Jurmo is competing for a spot on the Canucks roster, but consider him to be a steal for Vancouver. With the remaining picks the Canucks selected left-winger Jackson Kunz (113), defender Jacob Truscott (144), centre Dmitry Zlodeyev (175), and defender Viktor Persson (191).