Ville Leino joined Leafs Lunch on Wednesday afternoon to discuss former teammate and now-Maple Leaf Calle Rosen.
Leino on Rosen’s game:
Calle is probably the best skater I’ve played with, even among the guys in the NHL. He’s an unbelievable skater. He can pass the puck real well. He can shoot hard. He definitely has everything that you need to become an NHL player.
On areas for improvement:
I think he needs to be a little meaner, but he’ll learn it quick. He’s a nice guy. He wants to move forward in his career. I think he just needs to be a little meaner.
His skating and movement on the ice remind me of Nik Lidstrom. Obviously, Lidstrom was pretty much the best defenceman to ever play, so I don’t think it’s a fair comparison, but he’s got some skills where I feel like he has similar abilities.
On whether Rosen is NHL-ready:
I think he’s so fast that, even if somebody beats him, he can still catch you. He’s smart and he’s strong. He might need a little period of adjustment, but I think he’ll learn pretty quickly.
On the amount of NHL interest in SHL players:
It’s pretty close to being the best league in Europe. They play similar hockey to the NHL. There is no trap hockey standing in the neutral zone. It’s hard forecheck, hard backcheck. It’s like playing in the NHL in a big rink. It’s definitely a hard league to play in. You’ve got to be really good at moving, and you’ve got to be able to hit and move. Otherwise, you look stupid there.