The Los Angeles Kings add another defensemen in the draft, selecting Kim Nousianien from Finland with the 119th overall pick in the draft.
Born: November 14, 2000 (Age 18)
Place of Birth: Kuopio, FIN
Weight: 170 lbs.
2019-20 Team: KalPa (Liiga)
#52—NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (European Skaters)
What’s the deal?
If your first impression of Nousianien is “he’s small”, well, you’re not wrong. He stands at 5’9”, and, knowing hockey, that may be a generous 5’9”.
Despite his small size, Nousianien was one of the best defensemen in the Finnish junior leagues, scoring 28 points in 32 games in the regular season, and seven points in seven games in the playoffs.
He’s known as a smooth skater who is incredibly mobile and who excels in transitions in play. He likes to jump up and join the rush, which can be risky at times, and is good at creating chances for his teammates. Nousianien moves the puck well, has smooth hands, and is good at starting breakouts for his team.
Nousianien plays a surprisingly aggressive game for his size and is not intimidated by larger players. He could stand to add more muscle to his frame, as he gets pushed off the puck too easily sometimes.
Like many young defensemen, Nousianien needs to improve play in his own zone. His defensive play improved over the past season and should only continue to grow as he plays next season for KalPa. He’s not entirely a defensive liability, but could stand to be more consistent overall when defending.
Nousianien is a bit of a risky pick, but once you get this deep in the draft, you’re selecting for potential, and Nousianien’s agility, hockey IQ, and consistency in putting in the work to improve his game makes him worth taking a chance on him.
Highlights & Notes
#LAKings select defenseman Kim Nousiainen with the 119th pick. Lots to like about the 5'9" d-man who moves the puck really well, has speed and agility. More from our final rankings: pic.twitter.com/21v1eWWVaX— Finnish Jr Hockey (@FINjrhockey) June 22, 2019
Los Angeles picks Kim Nousiainen 119th overall. Small defenceman who has very good speed. Can QB a power play. Late birthdate, but has upside. pic.twitter.com/nkK8Klt8g8— Lassi Alanen (@lassialanen) June 22, 2019