2013-14 Team: Swift Current (WHL)
From: Jyvaskala, Finland
“He’s got the most skill on our team… You watch him in practice, his 1-on-1 moves, how he scores in practice on breakaways. We do the shootout, we practice the shootout, and he was our go-to guy. He didn’t score on it, but he’s our most skilled guy… He’s been as good as advertised… He was just so good in training camp. His skating and his puck handling and his shot, he was way ahead of everybody. … You wonder, can he take it into the regular season and do it, but the biggest thing is how he practices and what he can do in practice, that’s where you really get a good look at this kid. He’s got some God-given talent that a lot of kids don’t have. He’s very high end… What he’s done offensively, the points are one thing, but he creates so many chances. He’s got that amount of points, he could have had a heck of a lot more.”
– Swift Current Head Coach Mark Lamb
Whoever takes Julius Honka in the 2014 NHL Draft knows they will have to wait a while for him to come to the NHL, but when he does they will be getting a good offensive defenseman.
The one negative about Honka is his 5’10” stature. The fear is that he won’t be able to withstand the rigors of going up against bigger forwards for an NHL season. However, his offensive game might outweigh his size. If he does end up falling in the draft, Honka will be a potential steal.
Honka played for the gold medal-winning Finnish team at this year’s World Junior Championship, in which he registered one assist.
Any team looking for an offensive defenseman at the draft will have to take a look at Honka. The Philadelphia Flyers and Colorado Avalanche could be fits.