Joakim Kemell, 18, plays for JYP Jyväskylä in the SM Liiga. Could he be a potential fit for the Philadelphia Flyers?
Joakim Kemell enters the 2022 NHL Draft ranked second amongst European skaters, per the NHL Central Scouting rankings. He is the top Finnish prospect in the draft class.
During his rookie season with JYP this year, Kemell scored 23 points (15G, 8A) in 39 games played and led all rookies in goals. His draft stock rose significantly over the course of 2021-2022. The main reason was due to his outstanding play for Finland during the U18 World Championship. He scored 8 points (6G, 2A) in five games to help Finland secure a bronze medal.
Kemell is a 5’11” and 176lbs sniper. His shot is powerful, accurate, and deadly, but his coup de grâce is his one-timer. It doesn’t matter if the pass to him is clean or a bit choppy, Kemell will manage to let it rip.
His wrist shot is another lethal part of his arsenal. Kemell has a fast release and his quick hands deceive goaltenders.
He knows how to play a goaltender one-on-one. Kemell can deke a goaltender or defender and battle in front of the net for a rebound or a potential deflection.
Defensively, he’s a solid forward. He rushes hard on the back-check and his defensive awareness is good overall. Kemell is disruptive with his stick and plays in the dirty areas.
Kemell isn’t the fastest or cleanest skater. He doesn’t have an explosive first step and his top speed won’t set the league on fire. Most important are his edges, allowing him to open his body up in order to receive a pass. Catching him in stride allows Kemell to create space versus true speed.
Physical strength is a concern. He will play a physical game, but it’s easy for him to get knocked off of the puck. Kemell could be overpowered on defense against bigger forwards.
Don’t expect Kemell to be polished for the NHL upon arrival. He is under contract with JYP Jyväskylä through 2023-2024, then likely would play in the AHL when he does make the leap over to North America. Working on the weaknesses in his game, which isn’t goal-scoring, for the next year or two will make him a sharper prospect.
He draws some comparisons to Patrik Laine. While Kemell might not match Laine in the size and physicality department, they both have a deadly shot and are natural-born goal scorers.
There’s no reason that Kemell can’t become a top-six forward or occupy a role on the first-line in the NHL.
Does Kemell fit the Flyers?
Yes, he does. The Flyers haven’t had a pure goal scorer since Jeff Carter. Kemell has the tools and shooting abilities to become a perennial 30+ goal scorer in the NHL.
Kemell will most likely be on the draft board when the Flyers make their fifth-overall selection. Philadelphia needs to improve in many areas this offseason, but one commodity they require is a potent goal scorer.
(Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre)