At least Johnny Beecher will have some company among Boston Bruins prospects after all at the World Junior Championships tourney.
Finnish center and 2019 B’s sixth round pick Matias Mantykivi was named to the preliminary Team Finland roster on Friday for the World Junior tournament.
Finland has named its preliminary roster for the WJC. Notably not on the list: Would-be returnees Aatu Raty (2021) and Patrik Puistola (CAR). Puistola had eight points at last year’s WJC, second most on the team. https://t.co/N1hwSKmFbx pic.twitter.com/I0DZK7fcwG
— Chris Peters (@chrismpeters) December 4, 2020
The 5-foot-10 Mantykivi has four assists in 17 games for SaiPa in the Finnish Elite League this season after splitting time between SaiPa and junior Finnish team Kettera Imatra last season. Perhaps more impressive has been his play in international tournaments, but here’s a 2 goal/4-point effort from Mantykivi for the under-20 SaiPa club from a couple of seasons ago.
Mantykivi said after he was drafted that he models his game after longtime Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk, and that’s music to the ears of Bruins scouts looking for well-rounded, two-way centers pretty much anywhere they can find them.
Yeah, maybe Pavel Datsyuk. He’s been my idol since a young boy, just like the forechecks and stickhandling and passing skills,” said Mantykivi. “I think [my strengths] are receiving and play-making with the puck and offensively, just like playmaking is my number one thing.”
Mantykivi was selected 185th overall in the 2019 NHL Draft by the Boston Bruins and clearly had some size and strength work to do after being listed at 161 pounds after being selected by the Black and Gold about 18 months ago. It remains to be seen if any other Bruins prospects qualify for World Junior Championship rosters, but it could very well that Beecher and Mantykivi are the only B’s representation at the international tourney played in Edmonton later this month.