2024 NHL Draft Preview: Aron Kiviharju the next super talent in Finnish hockey
Watch Aron Kiviharju, and you might be fooled into thinking he’s a top prospect for the upcoming 2022 NHL Draft. After all, he’s a breakout wizard with significant impacts at both ends of their rink in Finland’s U20 league.
But Kiviharju isn’t eligible for the 2022 Draft. He’s not even eligible for the 2023 Draft. He’s a 2024 Draft prospect. Players at this stage aren’t supposed to be this good.
Truth be told, Kiviharju’s always been ahead of the curve. A day after turning 13, Kiviharju made his debut in the Finnish U16 league. By 14, he was already the highest-scoring defenceman on the circuit by a large margin.
Two years later, Kiviharju made the jump to TPS’s U20 team. And he’s done what he’s always done: punch above his weight.
Since late October, he’s played at least 20 minutes in every game while scoring the third-highest point per game clip among regular defencemen on the circuit, a staggering feat for a player in their 15-year-old season. Even in the current U20 league playoffs, he’s averaging 23 minutes a night while being three years younger than the second-youngest skater on the team.
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