Preds Make Their First Picks
Saturday, 06.25.2011 / 10:54 AM
Round 2 went pretty close to plan for the Preds --- in scouting meetings earlier in the week the scouts had targeted Magnus Hellberg at No. 38 and were hoping that Miikka Salomaki would fall to the No. 52 pick.
Hellberg was the first goaltender selected in this year's draft. The Preds scouts compare him favorably to Pekka Rinne and Anders Lindback at the same time in their development. Physically he looks similar to Lindback and has the same laid-back demeanor as Rinne and Lindback.
Salomaki is the other end of the spectrum; a physical high-engery skilled forward who plays much bigger than his 5-11 size. The European scouts compare his physicality to a Tuomo Ruutu, with the potential to post better offensive numbers. He can play on any line --- in an offensive role higher in the lineup or as a physical momentum-changer lower in the lineup --- and in both power-play and penalty kill situations. With experience playing against men in the Finnish Elite League, Salomaki has the potential to contribte to the Preds lineup in the next couple of seasons.