Who is Roby Järventie?
Roby Järventie is a 6’2’’ 185lb lefty winger playing for KOOVEEE of Metsis — the second highest league in Finland. Järventie has been inconsistent in his career as a prospect, but did manage to lead the adult league Mestis (think AHL, but worse) in goal scoring. This is his EliteProspects stat sheet dating back to his age-15 season, which benefits him because there are some cartoonish numbers in his DY-1 year:
His Jr. B SM-sarja season was transcendent. He led that league in points per game and led his team in points with 28 in 9 games (3.11 ppg) despite playing half as many games as the #2 scorer (25 points in 18 games). Now, Jr. B SM-sarja isn’t exactly the Olympics, but according to my work on network-based NHLe, that season would 0.21 points per game at the NHL level. A 17-point 82-game pace as a 16-year-old is. For perspective, projected #2 overall draft pick Quinton Byfield was at around a 14-point pace that year before exploding this past season.
Because of his inconsistency his projected NHL performance is uninspiring. He’s got a less than 50/50 shot at even making the league, there is a negligible probability that he’ll become a star, and he has almost no exciting comps. All this according to Byron Bader’s HockeyProspecting:
Where is Roby Järventie Ranked?
Järventie’s inconsistency plagued him in early draft boards, he has made something of a charge as of late.
- #58 - Future Considerations (March 1, 2020 ranking)
- #35 - TSN.ca - Craig Button (March 30, 2020 ranking)
- #56 - Steve Kournianos, The Draft Analyst (March 2, 2020 ranking)
- #68 - Dobber Prospects - Tony Ferrari (March 30, 2020 ranking)
- #62 - Ashley Glover (May 3, 2020 ranking)
- #72 - The Hockey Writers - Josh Bell (February 28, 2020 ranking)
- #91 - The Hockey Writers - Andrew Forbes (March 14, 2020 ranking)
- #72 - The Hockey Writers - Larry Fisher (May 4, 2020 ranking)
According to Colin Cudmore’s draft pick scouting aggregator, he’s gone from somewhere in the 72 to 110 range in October, to somewhere in the 33-81 range in April and his draft pick value has gone up by yover 40% in that time.
What Others Say About Roby Järventie
Steve Kourianos of The Draft Analyst had this to say about Järventie’s most notable characteristic.
A pure sniper with one of the best shot-release combinations in the draft, Jarventie is a well-balanced winger who has spent the majority of his draft year as a top-line winger for one of the leading teams in Finland’s adult-age Mestis. Jarventie plays as mistake free a game as a teenager can play and most of his decisions and movements on or off the puck seem calculated. Although Jarventie can score goals in a variety of ways, his most impressive skill is the way he slings rockets off his blade within nanoseconds. Not only does his shot look pretty, but it has knocked goalies off balance from distances above the circles.
Ben Kerr of Last Word on Hockey has nothing but glowing remarks to say about his offensive game. He called him an “excellent skater” with “excellent speed and acceleration” and “outstanding edgework” as well as a “pure sniper” but “talented playmaker” with a “very good arsenal of shots.” Ben used the word “excellent” 6 times in his skating and offensive sections, but was less complimentary on his defensive game.
Jarventie needs to work on his defensive game and this is his biggest weakness right now. He often looks disinterested in his own end of the ice. He can get caught watching the puck and not moving his feet. This can allow his man to get open. Jarventie also has a tendency to leave the zone early, looking for a long breakout pass to create offence. When he does engage defensively, he reaches for pucks with his stick and doesn’t really engage physically. His positioning can also be an issue. With good coaching and some more maturity this can be improved, but right now is a question mark.
Asko Huuki of Finn Prospects had a similar take on Järventie’s overall game.
Watching the performance of Järventie gives usually very mixed feelings and the same goes with this performance. On the other hand, he actually has pretty good wheels, above average shot and he has really good hands making him really good at one-on-ones. His puck protection is really good thanks to his size and skill. But on the other hand, he still seems lazy and he seems to lack sharpness when he is defending, checking or is off the puck. To me, he also floats around too much.
A Little Video
In watching extended clips of Järventie’s game, it’s easy to see where the profile of as a sniper comes from. Look for #21 — he’s a left winger, but he plays as the trigger man at the half-board on his off-wing on the powerplay.
He’s a smooth skater, but not electric. He’s big, but doesn’t use his strength that much. He’s got good vision to set himself up for shots, but doesn’t seem to often make space for teammates. He’s the first man up the ice on a break, but isn’t aggressive enough in his own end to create one from scratch. Everything he does comes with a caveat — except his shot, which is lethal.
An Opinion of Sorts
I think Bader’s model from Hockey Prospecting undersells the probability that this kid could become a star, because between his size, athleticism, and shot, there’s most certainly a threatening offensive NHLer somewhere in Roby Järventie. That said, it does seem unlikely that he’ll realize that potential so the probability he makes the NHL (below 50%) is probably fair.
Järventie is an inconsistent, but talented offensive winger. And a consistently apathetic defensive player. This is the profile of a skater whose game will not look as good once you go any deeper into a stat sheet than point totals. Unfortunately, for prospects, that’s about all we have. And given his not-particularly-impressive point production, what we’re left with is someone unlikely to live up to his 2nd round draft stock.
The Devils will have somewhere between 1 and 3 first rounders, but likely have no 2nds or 3rds and I don’t think he’ll be around in the 4th, so I’m prepared to not come out of the draft with him and that’s okay. If, hypothetically, he fell to the 4th, I’d take him for the scoring potential.
Do you guys like Roby’s game? Do you think he is trending down because his production from his stratospheric juniors-level DY-1 season fell off in this, his draft year? Or do you think that he’s trending up because of his production in Mestis and the shooting up the draft boards? Are you more inclined to believe in his potential or be skeptic due to his frequently reported lack of effort? Can you envision the Devils taking him or trading to a spot that might make you more inclined to take him? Thanks for reading and leave your thoughts in the comments section below.