New York Islanders Daily: Otto Koivula Displays Stickhandling
The New York Islanders took on the Flyers in a prospects scrimmage. Besides the usual folks, Otto Koivula stood out in this game.
Last night was the annual prospect game between the Flyers and the New York Islanders. Usually, it’s a game where Josh Ho-Sang and Kieffer Bellows go off and everyone gets excited about them. They did that, but they weren’t alone, an unsung prospect had a nice showing too.
Otto Koivula had himself a nice night even though he wasn’t on the score sheet. Koivula was a fourth-round pick from 2016, coming in as a huge six-foot-five and 227 pounds. He likes to play physically but that’s not all.
Otto has fantastic handles. AHL coach Brent Thompson talked up Koivula to Newsday after the game yesterday.
"“Otto’s got great hands,” said Bridgeport (AHL) coach Brent Thompson, who ran the Islanders’ bench. “At the net and in tight. His vision. He’s got real good offensive instincts and he’s only going to get better.”"
Koivula is going to play this year in the AHL, after spending the last two years playing in Liiga. Depending on how this season goes for him in the AHL, I think Koivula can be a candidate for the third line center role next year.
He’s big, he can hit, and he has scoring upside. Over the last two years in Liiga he had 57 points in 103 games. That’s a pace of 45 over 82 games. If Koivula turns into someone who can give you 35 points and some physical play at the NHL level, the Islanders may have found their depth center who is just 20 years old.
Keep a close eye on Otto Koivula this year.
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