LA Kings prospects Kasper Simontaival and Samuel Helenius will represent Team Finland in the 2022 World Junior Championships.
The 2022 World Junior Championships will take place on December 26th, 2021 through January 5th, 2022 in Edmonton and Red Deer, Alberta Canada, featuring ten national teams in a round-robin style tournament. Only players under the age of twenty are eligible to participate, and it looks like the LA Kings will be very well represented.
Team Finland, which has developed into an international powerhouse, will have two Kings prospects on their roster. Forwards Kasper Simontaival and Samuel Helenius have been selected to the final roster for the tournament.
— Finnish Jr Hockey (@FINjrhockey) December 8, 2021
Both Simontaival and Helenius play in the Liiga, Finland’s highest-level professional hockey league.
Simontaival was selected in the third round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft. He stands at 5-foot-9 and 176 pounds and is known as a player who can play in front of the net with an above-average shot. In their 2020 NHL Draft Guide, EliteProspects had this to say about him:
“He’s a true dual-threat winger with two-way upside, a sturdy frame, and the type of competitiveness necessary to hang in there as a vertically challenged forward. The 5-foot-9 winger has a lethal release that can beat goalies from tough angles and long distances. He wields the best shot out of Finland in this year’s draft”.
Simontaival has played 11 games for KalPa of Liiga so far this season, totaling three goals and three assists.
Like Simontaival, Helenius is only 19 years old but is the polar opposite of Simontaival in physical stature. Drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, Helenius already stands at 6-foot-6 and weighs 201 pounds. Known for his forechecking ability, EliteProspects had this to say about him in their 2021 NHL Draft Guide:
“Being the son of former goon Sami Helenius, he shares some of the qualities with his father relating to the physical side of the game. Helenius throws his body around a lot, and he does that well, which makes him a menacing force on the forecheck. Once the play gets along the boards in either zone, Helenius is a tough customer and hard to escape due to size and massive wingspan”.
Helenius has played 24 games for JYP, totaling 1 goal, 4 assists, and 52 penalties in minutes while wearing a letter.