Red Wings prospect Eemil Viro played a fairly significant role in Finland’s 4-1 win over Russia at the World Junior Championship’s bronze medal game.
Viro nearly wiped himself out of the game in the 2nd period, making an attempt to kick the puck to his stick at the side of Yaroslav Askarov’s net, eating end boards:
But Viro’s decision to send a wrist shot toward the net instead of winding up for a slap shot early in the 3rd period was wise: the puck chipped off a Russian forward, bounced on the ice and was tipped by Mikko Petman into the net, giving Finland a lead that they would not surrender:
According to the IIHF’s stats, Viro finished at +1 with 2 shots, playing a solid 18:30 worth of ice time, with that one special assist.
He’s not going to be a superstar, but Viro looks like a really solid second-pair defenseman in the mold of Gustav Lindstrom–he doesn’t chase the puck carrier into the corner behind the net, he’s very mobile, and while he needs to add some upper-body strength, he doesn’t get overpowered in one-on-one battles for the puck.
Viro finished with 2 assists and a +7 over the course of 7 games played.
He’ll head back to TPS Turku of the Finnish Liiga for the balance of the 2020-2021 season, and he is eligible to play in the 2022 World Juniors.