Two prospects found new organizations on Wednesday night following a blockbuster trade between divisional rivals in the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks. While much talk surrounded the likes of Elias Lindholm and Andrei Kuzmenko, defensive prospects Hunter Brzustewicz and Joni Jurmo will now join the Flames organization to work their way up a new depth chart.
A greater project than Brzustewicz (in many senses of the word “greater”), 6-foot-5 defender Joni Jurmo brings an enticing mix of speed and size to the Flames prospect system.
His point totals are far from impressive in the Liiga this year; a goal and three assists over 35 games projects to a goal or two and five assists over a 49-game season.
What is impressive is that Jurmo has carved out a consistent role in Finland’s highest league at the age of 21.
The 82nd overall pick in 2020 isn’t afraid to shoot if he has space but is more inclined to make sure the puck is sent to a safe place rather than cough up a turnover for the opposition. Luckily for Jurmo, his wide reach and rangy ability to get to pucks first serves him well in keeping the play out of danger.
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Holding down a lineup spot on KooKoo of Kouvola, Finland, is still a work in progress. Jurmo has missed 14 of 46 games this season, but has plenty of time to iron out the wrinkles in his game.
In an interview with Patrick Johnson of The Province, Joni pointed out that Sweden-based Mikael Samuelsson had visited Jurmo frequently to provide insight on his developing game. A veteran of 699 NHL games on the Penguins, Canucks, Red Wings, Rangers and Sharks, Samuelsson has a strong understanding of the steps required to graduate into an NHL role.
“There was a lot about how I need to defend a guy without the puck and also a lot of gap control, and (Samuelsson) was really happy how I developed my gap control,” Said Jurmo in July of 2023. “Just small details.”
Time will tell how far Joni Jurmo will be able to take his game. It’s possible that the Flames move to bring Jurmo over to AHL hockey in the next couple of seasons. For now, it’s up to the towering blue liner to keep working on his game in Kouvola.
“I have an understanding of what I need to improve on. I also have a huge will to prove myself that I’m a legitimate prospect and that I can make the NHL one day.”