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HERNING Roman Josi Jersey , Denmark (AP) It has been a busy year for Miro Heiskanen and it’s not over yet.The talented defenseman opened it at the junior world championship in Buffalo before becoming a mainstay on the Finnish men’s national team at the next two top tournaments: the Pyeongchang Olympics and the ongoing world championship.In that time the 18-year-old has established himself as a reliable defenseman who has passed the test against top NHL talents at the tournament in Denmark. He plays in the top unit, meaning he has to stop the offensive aces of the opposition and that’s exactly what he has done.NHL leading scorer Connor McDavid could attest to that.On Saturday, Finland upset star-studded Canada captained by McDavid 5-1 and Heiskanen contributed a great deal.He played 18:25 but his best moment came in the middle period when Canada was trailing 3-1 and desperately pressing to score. At one point, McDavid had just an empty net in front of him. Goaltender Harri Sateri was still at the far post and McDavid’s shot from the left circle was heading for goal.But then Heiskanen came seemingly out of no where to Finland’s rescue, tipping the puck to safety.”It was almost in the net but I hit the puck,” Heiskanen said. ”It was a good save.”When the two met in the third period, the result was a two plus two-minute penalty for high sticking for a frustrated McDavid, effectively ending Canada’s chances of a comeback.Finland captain Mikael Granlund praised Heiskanen.”I have seen him at the games here and nothing really surprises me about him,” Granlund said. ”The way he skates, the way he handles the puck and sees the ice. He can play these games. He’s been really http://www.officialpredators.com/authentic-adidas-ryan-hartman-jersey , really good this tournament. He’s got a great career ahead of him.”The obvious next step is the NHL.The Dallas Stars picked him with the third overall selection in the 2017 NHL draft and signed him to a three-year entry level contract. He spent last season on loan with IFK Helsinki where he played since he was 17.He finished with 23 points including 11 goals in the regular season and added three goals and nine points in the playoffs.He said the transition has not been a problem.”It was tough sometimes but mostly quite easy because I play with smarter players. Of course, the play is faster than at the junior category and I face stronger guys,” he said.The Denmark tournament proved he is ready to stop the best.”It’s nice to face those guys and see where I am,” Heiskanen said. ”It’s a good test to play them, maybe I will play them next year in the NHL. I want to play there as soon as possible, that’s my goal.”There’s no doubt that he has the skills to make him a highly effective defenseman. But he knows he still has homework to do.”I have to practice hard this summer and get little bit stronger,” he said.It’s not clear when he might get the call from Dallas, though it’s likely to be sooner rather than later.In the meantime, he has to do what hockey rookies have to do: after practice with the Finnish national team, he can be found staying late on the ice and picking up pucks. All eyes will be on Calgary Flames morning skate Friday to see if Johnny Gaudreau appears.The Flames star winger was levelled by Boston defensemen Charlie McAvoy in the third period of Calgary’s 5-2 home ice win on Wednesday.The winger took part in the ensuing power play but then went to the dressing room and didn’t emerge for the rest of the game.Article continues below ...The Flames did not practice on Thursday and will host the Nashville Predators on Friday.Flames general manager Brad Treliving relayed a message to reporters in Calgary on Thursday that Gaudreau was “fine.”The concussion spotter watching Thursday night wasn’t so sure after watching McAvoy send the speedster flying after Gaudreau was stopped on a deke attempt.“(Flames trainer Kent Kobelka) comes down and says Ryan Johansen Jersey , ‘Johnny’s gotta go. The spotters have called for him.’ That’s all I know,” Flames head coach Bill Peters said after the game. “Hopefully it’s nothing. Hopefully, it’s minor. But we’ll see.”Gaudreau scored his 100th NHL goal in the game and is off to a fast start with six goals and three assists in six games.The Flames have started fast as well, bringing a 4-2 record into Friday.Nashville is off to a slightly better start at 5-1. Their only defeat was at the hands of Calgary, a 3-0 final in Tennessee on Oct. 9.Nashville hasn’t played since Tuesday when they downed the Minnesota Wild at home 4-2. They flew to Alberta on Thursday afternoon.The Predators will face Calgary and immediately head to the airport for the brief flight north to Edmonton, where they will face Connor McDavid and the Oilers on Saturday.No problem, says Predators forward Ryan Hartman.“That’s part of the job,” he told nhl.com. “There’s plenty of other jobs that people do in life where they’re not getting much sleep. It’s just part of it.”With the back-to-back it’s likely the Predators will put Pekka Rinne in goal in Calgary and go with his backup Juuse Saros in Edmonton. That’s what they did on 11 occasions last season.Nashville has nine back-to-backs on their schedule in 2018-19.“Just because we have the backup in doesn’t mean we can’t win,” defensemen Yannick Webber told nhl.com. “Juuse gives us a chance to win every game he plays. We’ve seen it already this year, too Viktor Arvidsson Jersey , and we have a lot of confidence in him. It’s great to have that insurance back there.”If Gaudreau is not in the lineup for Calgary on Friday, Calgary will hope for another strong outing from second-line winger, Michael Frolik, to fill the void. Frolik returned from being a healthy scratch on Wednesday and scored twice against Boston.“I didn’t have the start I was looking for, but it’s a long season,” he told reporters. “I just try to work hard in practice, get better every day and hopefully it’s going to turn around.“Tonight was a good start. Hopefully I can keep going.”The Predators are led in the early going by Filip Forsberg’s four goals and two assists through six games. Ryan Johansen has one goal and five helpers.



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