After spending the last three profiles in the Swedish junior leagues, we hop back across the pond to the USHL for our 73rd ranked prospect in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.
Finnish born Sampo Ranta lands in this spot due to his heavy shot and excellent skating abilities that have people in the scouting community excited about his ceiling as a prospect.
A Finnish born winger that is headed to Wisconsin next year, Ranta checks in at #73 in the CanucksArmy 2018 NHL Entry Draft rankings.
- Age/Birthdate: 17.29/ May 31, 2000
- Birthplace:Naantaly FIN
- Frame:6-foot-2/ 192 lbs
- Position:Left Wing
- Draft Year Team:Sioux City Musketeers(USHL)
- U16 Pohjola Camp Roster (TPS)
- U18 WJC Gold Medal
Ranta has had an unconventional path by any scope and even more so given that he is Finnish. He played for the TPS u16 team in 2014-15 before heading to Austria for the 2015-16 campaign. He then made the leap to the USHL for the past seasons while representing Finland a few times at the various international tournaments.
He is committed to the University of Wisconsin for next season.
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Ranta likes to shot a lot – which is evidenced by his shots per game. He stands out in terms of SEAL, pGPS and INV% but they aren’t jumping off the page stats. With that being said, you want your shooter to shoot the puck alot and Ranta isn’t afraid to do that.
Adjusted Scoring (SEAL)
Ranta’s GF% WOWY is a hodge podge of things going on with no common thems that we can point to. The most commong forward he played with was Micah Miller, who outscored him on a per 60 basis and posted better GF%.
Ranta is a player who leaves you wanting more after every viewing. His shot is heavy with a decent release time that with a little more accuracy could produce better results. His skating is above average with a good top speed and decent acceleration. He is strong along the boards with the ability to protect the puck and hold off defenders quite easily.
His read of the play appears to be consistent and strong and he is good in the defensive zone. Ranta has a good motor and doesn’t give up on the play.
aka The Archer 🎯 pic.twitter.com/YpAJD5YPLo
— USHL (@USHL) March 25, 2018
If he can put all of his skills together, there is a legitimate prospect here. But there is also a chance that he just never can make those strides and then tops out as a good AHL player or heads back to Europe to ply his trade there.
It is worth noting that his USHL team, Sioux City, did miss the playoffs and Ranta finished second (by two points) in scoring for the Musketeers despite playing 7 fewer games.
He was ranked as the 23rd best North American skater in the mid-season rankings and then rose up to 18th close out the season. The Naantaly native is ranked as high as 30th (The Hockey News) and then left off others. He ended up being 44th in the consolidated public rankings and that’s because so many of those scouts see that possible potential.
His pGPS is in line with a third round player and isn’t a bad bet at that point in the draft.
There are so many things to like about Ranta’s game and it’s easy to get enchanted by any one of the positives that I outlined above. He is worth the risk as a draft pick and could see some good results in the NCAA next season but just as easily could continue leaving you wanting more. If there was a USHL scout that really strongly about Ranta’s game, then there is valid argument to rate Ranta ahead of a few other players in this range.
He doesn’t jump out analytically but the eye test does usually look good on him.
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Ranta’s not huge at 6-01, 192 [pounds] but the Finnish-born wing possesses a hard and heavy shot along with excellent skating skill. He’s slated to attend the University of Wisconsin next year. UW Badgers’ assistant coach Mark Osiecki describes him as a growing ‘power forward who is strong over the puck and has a good hockey IQ.’ His recent development has seen him rise from a previous ‘B’ Central Scouting ranking to his current ‘A’.
CanucksArmy’s 2018 NHL Draft Rankings