Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Season so Far: Ville Leino

For our third chapter of early season reviews of our new additions, we're focusing on a "rookie" who's experiencing his first full time stint with the Wings...

Ville Leino so far this season:

What started as the third line for Detroit, the "Two Finns and a Williams" line has been the best line for Detroit this year.  Once Franzen went down, this line was promoted to the second line.  Everyone looked at Filppula (and his perfect hair) and then looked at Leino (and inexplicable hair) and said, "oh...they're both Finnish, they HAVE to work well together".  Well...lucky for us, that is exactly the case.  Putting the slightly underachieving Val Filppula with Leino and repatriated Jason Williams has turned into a great success early on in the season.  As promised, Leino worked on his skating and strength training over the summer and looks to be much improved for it.  He battles along the boards and goes to the high traffic areas (as can be seen in yesterday's clip that was posted...totally unintentional).

Season Total Projections:


Now, I beleived from the start that Leino was the perfect substitution for Jiri would have been interesting to see them both in the lineup, but it's out of my hands.  Hudler's best year was last season in which he had 23 goals and 57 points.  Can we expect that from Leino right away?  Can we?  The fact that he recognized a weakness in his game, and committed himself to working at it, shows that Dr. eVille is committed to being a mainstay on this team.  You may or may not have noticed it, but Leino's line seems to spend little time in the defensive zone when they're on the ice.  What they lack in size, they are making up for in speed, tenacity, and talent.  Leino's heavy wrister could see him easily pot 20 goals this year.  If Filppula keeps playing the way that he is, and Williams can start netting even strength goals, Leino's point totals will sore and he'll make a bid for rookie of the year.

My grade after 7 games: A-


  1. I would give him a B at best. I love Ville. But he's really been streaky and inconsistant.

  2. So 3 points in 7 games is streaky and inconsistent for a rookie? Me thinks you're setting the bar too high for SmallVille.

  3. I'm actually surprised he has so few points so far in the season. I think everybody on that line deserves at least an A. I wouldn't be surprised to see Leino outstrip that pace. I'm hoping this is just a Datsyukian slow start.

  4. 1-i love that "Datsyukian" is now fully within our language.

    2-Ville's got it, but let's not forget that he's still just in year 2 of NA hockey. even playing in Detroit with tons of Euros, it's still a little different. I pegged him around 40 pts this year, slightly more assists but i don't think there's any doubt he could explode in the near future. 60 or 70 isn't that far away.