By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Bruins double-dipped at center in the 2019 NHL Draft over the weekend. They selected center Matias Mäntykivi from Lappeenranta, Finland with the 18th pick in the sixth round on Saturday.
Mäntykivi played the past three seasons with Saipa in the Finnish junior hockey league Liiga. He served as assistant captain of Saipa in 2018-19 and scored 12 goals and 36 points in 34 games.
FinnProspects.com posted a detailed series of scouting reports on Mäntykivi this past fall. He’s generally described as a skilled, smart offensive center who can make things happen for both himself and his teammates. He also forechecked well, played sound defense and killed penalties. His one major drawback appears to be his skating, which was “heavy” for a player his size.
At 5-foot-11 and just 160 pounds, Mäntykivi definitely needs to bulk up. But he was described as a player who “seemed bigger than his measurement claims.” He told reporters after being drafted that he models his game after former Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk.
“He’s been my idol since a young boy, just like the forechecks and stickhandling and passing skills,” he said.
Datsyuk himself was a sixth-round pick in 1998. One can only hope that Mäntykivi will even come close to approaching the two-time Stanley Cup champion’s level of production and value as a sixth-rounder with the Bruins.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.