Europe can be one of the most challenging areas to scout.
You can have an elite talent ripping up their respective country’s U-20 league, only to earn an NHL call-up and not see a single shift. That happens all too often – even to guys like Lucas Raymond – so it’s tough to get a good read on a guy when that happens.
But, that pro experience, even if small, is always interesting. And when they’re dominating any level against their peers, it’s noteworthy. So while you won’t see any European prospects putting up 90 points a year like in the CHL, even a 20-point season in the KHL or Liiga is huge.
So, let’s look at five European-based players the Leafs could look to select with their first pick in the 2023 NHL Draft in Nashville:
Kasper Halttunen, RW (HIFK, Liiga)
From a points perspective, there’s not much to see this season. Halttunen scored just one assist in 25 games and his ice time has fluctuated anywhere from around 16 minutes a night to not even getting a shift. But his play in the U-20 league and internationally has turned some heads, and it helps that he stands at 6-foot-3 and over 200 pounds. The big power forward is skilled, can shoot from anywhere and is built like …
Author: Steven Ellis / The Leafs Nation