Back with our weekly Whose To Say, we’re jumping age groups and talking about two NHL rookies.
Miro Heiskanen and Rasmus Dahlin are two 19-year-old defensemen who just finished their first seasons in the NHL. Both of these young defensemen have promising futures within the NHL and today we’re going to compare their amazing starts in the league.
Also, if you didn’t know, Miro Heiskanen got fuckin robbed.
Miro Heiskanen is a 19 year-old defensemen who was drafted 3rd overall in 2017 by the Dallas Stars. Heiskanen is 6’1″ and 185 lbs.
In his first career season, Heiskanen played in all 82 games. In that time Miro grabbed 12 goals (4 game winning goals) and 21 assists for 33 points. Heiskanen had a -14 rating but he had managed a whopping 23:07 on the ice per game. Heiskanen had only 16 PIM but managed 182 shots on goal.
With the Stars, Miro saw his first playoff games. Miro played in 13 playoff games with 2 goals and 2 assists for 4 points. He had 31 shots on goal and was averaging 25:31 on the ice! During the playoffs, defensively, Heiskanen had 28 blocked shots, 7 takeaways, 5 hits, and 20 giveaways.
Defensively, Heiskanen is a genius. He’s got natural talent and remains cool under pressure. During the regular season, he had 71 blocked shots, 34 hits, and 35 takeaways.
Miro is going places. At only 19, he’s a bit of a string bean. He’s tall but can still add on some muscle to grow even stronger. He’s already a reliable defensemen and unbelievably gifted. Miro is also fast as hell. He can grow from here, he’s already offensively and defensively strong and there is only up to go from here.
Rasmus Dahlin is a 19-year-old defensemen that was drafted 1st overall in 2018 by the Buffalo Sabres. Rasmus is 6’3″ and 190 lbs.
In his rookie debut season, Dahlin played in 82 games with 9 goals (4 game winning goals) and 35 assists totaling to 44 points. Dahlin ended with a rating of -13 and 34 PIM. He had 177 shots on goal and averaged 21:09 on the ice.
Dahlin’s team did not reach the Stanley Cup playoffs in his rookie season.
As a defensemen, Dahlin is smart. He uses his skating skills to his advantage. In the regular season, Dahlin had 66 blocked shots, 97 hits, 38 takeaways, and 79 giveaways.
As for Dahlin’s playing style, he’s a talented skater that is a threat at any given time. He is also, like Miro, a string bean that could use some bulking up as his time in the NHL moves on. He does have a really good hockey sense that puts him so high on the draft count.
I start all of my takes by saying that both of these players are talented and I know its repetitive but its true. Both of these players, should that stay healthy, are going to grow into All-Stars in the NHL. BUT I have to say…
Heiskanen just has a kinda piazzas to his game that Dahlin doesn’t have. Not to mention that Miro has unmatched grit and determination. He is constantly chill, never breaking his composure but Miro has this quiet confidence that makes his game more compelling to watch.
Although Dahlin had 11 more points, Miro was on the ice for longer and he was one of the players that carried the team through injury and deep into the playoffs.
They’re always going to be compared side by side but Miro, to me, would win it out every time for the heart he puts into the game.
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Featured Image: Rasmus: Kevin Hoffman, USA TODAY Sports / Miro: Matthew Stockman/Getty Images