♪♪♪♪♪ ... Mikkola's profile at Elite Prospects.com
With the 127th pick in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, the St. Louis Blues select defenseman NIKO MIKKOLA of the Kal Pa Kuopio organization in Finland.
Mikkola is a 6' 4, 185-pound left shooting defender who was passed over in last year's NHL Entry Draft in his first year of eligibility, and was selected by the Blues despite not being ranked by Central Scouting in either the Preliminary or Midterm rankings.
The Hockey Prospect.com "Black Book" scouting report on Mikkola describes him as "a huge defender with above average mobility and lateral quickness," and one that "does a sound job in the defensive zone with positioning and toughness, which makes him really a tough opponent to play against."
The "Black Book" goes on to say that Mikkola "doesn't lose many one on one battles and moves the puck fairly well. He makes good first passes out of his zone and he's got a hard shot from the point. Overall he's a smart player who doesn't try anything extra that he couldn't do, he knows his limits and plays well within them," and predicts that Mikkola will be a regular with the Kal Pa senior club in the Liiga next season (his contract with Kal Pa expires in 2016).
In an interview posted on blues.nhl.com, Director of Amateur Scouting Bill Armstrong had these comments about Mikkola:
"He is good... he’s a super sleeper. Our guys saw him and they just fell in love with him. He’s a kid that’s really interesting; he’s almost like a (Colton) Parayko in the sense of how much he’s grown in the last few years. I think he was 5’ 11 a year and a half ago, and how he’s close to six-foot-four, which is just one of those freak things. He’s a player that we really love, with his skating ability. He’s still raw, but he loves to push the pace, loves to be involved. He’s a difference-maker with a big body type that can skate, so for us, we’re hoping that he turns out as well as Parayko has."
|Shoots||Left||Hockey Prospect Black Book||N/R|
|Weight||185 lbs||CSS Preliminary||Europe N/R|
|Born||Apr. 27, 1996||CSS Midterm||N/R Europe|
|Where||Kiiminki, Finland||CSS Final||111 Europe|
|2014-15||Kal Pa Kuopio (Liiga)||10||0||1||1||- 1||4||0||0||0|
|Hokki (Mestis)||5||1||0||1||- 2||8||0||0||0|
|Kal Pa U20 (Nuorten SM-Liiga)||37||9||14||23||+ 7||80||0||0||0|
|2013-14||Kal Pa U18 (Jr B SM-Sarja)||46||4||13||17||0||103||0||0||0|