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#9 Vili Saarijarvi
Pos: D
D.O.B.: 5/15/97
From: Rovaniemi, Fin
Height: 5'10
Weight: 165
Shoots: Right
Drafted: 2015 draft 3rd rnd, 73rd overall by Detroit (NHL)
Acquired: Signed 3 yr contract with Detroit (NHL) 7/3/15
Plus: Offensively creative... Mobile puck carrier... Powerplay quarterback... High energy, motor never quits, plays with high pace...
Minus: Undersized for an NHL defender... Needs to get stronger... Has been a bit injury prone partially due to small frame... Defensive game needs work...
Organizational Comments: Wings Asst GM Ryan Martin
What GRC says: 2018-19 Stuck in neutral for a large part of the season, and unable to earn a full-time spot in the lineup. Poor decision making at both ends of the ice and lack of intensity cost him. Injuries and recalls gave him another shot late in the season and he did play better in spurts especially defensively. Great pace and motor, running out of time and opportunity to establish himself. Finished +16 in the second half to lead the team at +19. Saarijarvi has one more year left on his entry-level contract and should establish himself in the top 6 in Grand Rapids.
2017-18 The diminutive speedster was not able to secure a permanent spot in the lineup over the second half and seemed have a hard time playing with the same fire he had earlier in the season. While he still showed good vision in the offensive zone and played with pace, he was inconsistent and at times tried to force the play, causing some glaring defensive lapses and turnovers. He showed some moxie on the powerplay, but needs to get stronger and will have to step up his defensive play to make an impact next season.
Fall 2017 One of the rookie blueliners looking to take a regular shift on the Griffins blueline, Saarijarvi is an undersized offensive powerhouse who never stops moving, playing with incredible pace. He also uses his smarts to play a solid defensive game, using good positioning and skating to make up for his lack of stature. The gifted freshman has been a standout at every level he has played, and should pile up points on the Griffins powerplay.
Role: Offensive Defenseman
Projection: 3-4 defender


7/3/15 Signed 3 yr contract with Detroit (NHL)
3/24/16 Reassigned from Flint (OHL)
3/28/16 Assigned to Toledo (ECHL)
4/11/16 Recalled from Toledo (ECHL)
5/17/17 Reassigned by Detroit (NHL) from Mississauga (OHL)
5/28/17 Reassigned by Detroit (NHL) to Mississauga (OHL)
10/1/17 Assigned by Detroit (NHL)
10/10/17 Assigned to Toledo (ECHL)
10/25/17 Recalled from Toledo (ECHL)
11/20/17 Assigned to Toledo (ECHL)
12/6/17 Recalled from Toledo (ECHL)
9/30/18 Assigned by Detroit (NHL)