Kings Select Otto Salin (Round 5, Pick 148)

With the 148th selection in the fifth round of the 2022 NHL Draft, the Kings selected right-shot defender Otto Salin of Finland. Read up on the young blueliner below!

The Vitals

Position: Defense
Shoots: Right
DOB: 3/7/04
Height: 5-11
Weight: 205
Hometown: Helsinki, Finland
NHL Central Scouting Final Ranking: 23 (EU rankings)
TSN/Bob McKenzie’s Final Ranking: 66
The Athletic/Corey Pronman’s Final Ranking: 119
Stats (HIFK U20): 11 GP, 4-8=12 (HIFLK Liiga): 6 GP, 0-1=1)

What The Experts Said

Corey Pronman, The Athletic
Salin is a skilled puck-moving defenseman. He shows great creativity as a handler to create off the rush and off the offensive blue line. He shows good poise to hold pucks for an extra second to make a play, and in general can help a power play. Salin’s main issues come on the defensive side of the puck. He’s fine in that regard as a junior, but with average mobility, a 5-foot-11 frame and a lack of physicality, whether he’ll be able to check NHL players is a whole other issue. His offense gives him a chance to play if he can round out his game.

Via Dobber Prospects
Vision, puck skills and mobility are the name of the game for Salin. His crossover use, his cutbacks, his forwards and backwards skating, all look very solid. He covers lots of ground and doesn’t waste energy, being selective in his rushes up-ice. When he joins the offense, whether in transition or in the offensive zone, he takes calculated risks and has the vision required to identify the right time and place for his incursions, although his manipulation of lanes could use some work. When he finds himself in positive ice, he has the hands, the passing ability and the shot to convert on his chances. The issues with Salin are on the defensive side, for the most part — he can struggle to stifle opponents off the rush, and can get confused when the cycle requires a change of assignment. All in all, the offensive promise with Salin is a the shot in the third round, especially if he can be brought over to North America soon to learn from the tightness of the pro game on this side of the pond in order to grow his defensive game the right way.

Quick Take – Despite it being a known position of strength throughout the organization, the Kings remained committed to selecting the best player they felt was available here in the fifth round, choosing Salin, who is a right-handed defender. He represented Finland on an international stage at the U18 World Championship this year and played with HIFK at both the pro and U20 levels. Salin projects as an offensive-minded blueliner who fits the way the game is trending. He may need to round out the defensive side of his game a bit, but the Kings have shown an ability to improve young players in that area who fit into their structure.

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