Thursday, September 4, 2014

Top 10 Prospects: #9 Michael Keranen

Michael Keranen
Shoots: Left
Height: 6'1". Weight: 191 lbs.
Born: January 4, 1990
2013-14 Team: Ilves Tampere (SM-liiga)
Acquired: Signed a one year, two-way contract on June 5, 2014
Previous Rank: NR

On June 5th, the Wild signed Finnish forward Michael Keranen to a one year two-way contract for the 2014-15 season. Keranen has spent the previous four seasons (and one game of a fifth season) playing for Ilves Tampere in the Finnish Elite League (SM-liiga).

Last season, Keranen lead Liiga with 35 assists and 52 points. That point total nearly doubled his career high from the previous season. He was undrafted and came on late, but his play was worthy enough for the Wild to offer him a contract to see if he could have continued success in North America.

Keranen will be in Iowa for the 2014-15 season, as he will be expected to bring some punch to a team that was very punchless in 2013-14. He became a great offensive force last year and the hope is that he can carry that over to the AHL. He has outstanding speed, a great shot, good hands, and good vision. He is exactly the type of offensive force that the Iowa club needs. While Keranen is not that bad defensively, he still has a ways to go in that aspect of his game.

As before mentioned, Keranen is guaranteed to start the season in Iowa. Realistically, Iowa will be the only stop for Keranen this year, as he acclimates to North American hockey. He will be in the Iowa top six and could get time on a line with previous prospects on this list (Zack Phillips, Raphael Bussieres).

Team of 18,001's 2014-15 Top 10 Prospect List
1. September 12
2. Thursday
3. Wednesday
4. Tuesday
5. Monday
6. Sunday
7. Saturday
8. Tomorrow
9. Michael Keranen
10. Raphael Bussieres

Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell

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