SUNRISE, FLA -- The Red Wings have selected Vili Saarijarvi from the USHL at 73rd overall.
From Future Considerations:
Over in the USHL, little Finnish defender Vili Saarijarvi of Green Bay, who recently signed on with Karpat of the Liiga, was a guy we hummed and hawed about putting into our rankings–especially after his solid U18 play in April. The tiny puck-moving blueliner has a heavy shot from the point and moves with some strong elusiveness and quickness. He can be a bit too much of a scrambled mess in his own zone and obviously gets pushed off the puck or loses one-on-one battles too easily. But, he still plays an aggressive style of game from the blue line. He gets up the ice with regularity and also is keen on starting the transition game with a nice pass. A guy who could develop into a decent prospect again with time to develop.
Saarijarvi is an extremely dynamic defenseman whose play was a real revelation at the U18 World Championships. With a very young group of defensemen at their disposal the Finns relied heavily on Vili to carry most of the load and he sure delivered in impressive fashion. He has great mobility while carrying the puck, and that alowed him to get rid of forecheckers and start up his team's counter-attack time after time. On top of his puck moving ability, he showed good vision and great execution on his passes. Saarijarvi was also particularly effective on the powerplay, where he put to work his shooting ability.
This story is developing, more will be available shortly.