Just as we all finished reading (or, in my case, writing) about the Islanders trading up to draft KHL forward Anatoli Golyshev in the fourth round, they struck again.
They sent a 2017 fourth rounder to the Flyers for the 120th overall and final pick in the fourth round.
And with that pick, selected Finnish forward Otto Koivula out of Finland's Ilves Under 20 team.
#Isles take forward Otto Koivula from the Finnish junior league.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) June 25, 2016
Koivula is a big boy -- 6-foot-4, 219. Doesn't turn 18 until Sept. 1.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) June 25, 2016
He is indeed a large boy, and a (relatively) high-scoring one. He had 26 goals and 58 points in 44 games this season in Finland. He added 12 points on five goals and seven assists in seven playoff games.
Miika Arponen of Hockey Prospectus had some high praise for Koivula, saying that while his skating needs work his shot is good and quick and he has a high hockey IQ.
Koivula has signed his first professional contract for next season and he will have a professional skating coach available in the summer. If he could get his skating to at least a decent level, he could be a dominant force in the game.
Koivula has a two-year contract with Ilves that he signed this March. The news release also talks about his skill and potential as an NHL player, so take that for what it's worth.
A kid with size, smarts and skill seems like the kind of pick you want to make late in the fourth round. Of course, almost everybody seems like a good late round pick right now, so you never know. Welcome to the fold, Otto.