Jets All Out Prospect Predictor: Juho Olkinuora

 

If there is one thing the Wininpeg Jets need in their future, it's goaltending.

They have a pretty good system going with Ondrej Pavelec, Al Montoya, and Eddie Pasquale currently sitting in the top three spots in the organization's depth chart.

But after that, it is a who's who of draft picks – especially late round picks – that are still trying to make an impression from the ECHL to NCAA to Junior A.

In fact, the three goalies the Jets have chosen the last two entry drafts – Jason Kasdorf (157th overall in 2011), Connor Hellebuyck (130th overall in 2012), and Jamie Phillips (190th overall in 2012) – are all playing in the NCAA, with Kasdorf the only starter out of the three.

But that changed when the Jets signed Juho Olkinuora to a entry-level contract early in April.

Olkinuora, 22, a sophomore at the University of Denver, went 13-6-5 with a 2.35 goals against average and a .927 save percentage this season – his first as the main starter.

He did go 9-8-3 with a 2.18 goals against average and a .924 save percentage in his freshmen year.

The young Finn goalie also played with the USHL's Sioux Falls Stampede going 14-13-0 with a 2.78 goals against average and a .900 save percentage in 2010-11.

Currently, Olkinuora is with the St. John's Ice Caps – third on their depth chart behind Pasquale and veteran Mark Dekanich.

For Olkinuora to jump into the Jets organization as the fifth ranked goalie and squeeze in front of 2009 draft pick Chris Carrozzi (who has struggled mightily in the AHL and has played his majority of time in the ECHL) shows the Jets think highly of the Finn.

And they have every reason to. 

Olkinuora's numbers in collegiate hockey were better than most.  He has spent three seasons developing in the United States program between the USHL and NCAA and appears ready for another challenge in the AHL.

At 6'2, 195, Olkinuora is another tall goalie to add to the system.  As the Jets have gone along, they have made sure to add more size for their shift to the Western Conference next season.

Whether he gets any playing time with a struggling St. John's team appears to be seen, but time in net in the AHL will test his abilities to be a pro goalie and gauge where his true development is at.

This was a very shrewd signing by the Jets in terms of picking up extra talent and not just any talent.

With many NCAA players going undrafted and then being signed right out of their college careers (just look at the flurry of NCAA signings this season), the Jets decided to get in on the act and picked a good one.