Carolina’s final pick of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft was Ville Rasanen, a Finnish defenseman. The 197th pick split time between Jokipojat’s U20 and full team last season in the Mestis League, where he had 24 points in 43 games (10 G, 14 A).
He also recorded a goal for the Finnish U-20 team during a four-game stint last year. Rasanen is notably smaller than the other defensemen drafted by the Hurricanes, at 6’2” but only 168 lbs. However if he stays in the Carolina system, he should have a lot of time to grow in development.
Tony MacDonald, the Canes’ director of scouting, described Rasanen as “a poor man’s Miro Heiskanen,” and when you’re compared to the third pick of the draft that’s fairly high praise. Despite being a seventh-round pick, Rasanen was a player the Hurricanes had on their radar and MacDonald said the team’s European scouts were pushing hard for him to be selected with the Canes’ final pick of the draft.
MacDonald described him as an under the radar defenseman. “He’s a great skater. Tremendous, explosive, a player that will put up big numbers. We hope we got a steal with [Rasanen] in the seventh round like we did with Frederik Andersen the year we drafted him.”