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Highly touted 2014 draft prospect Honka to play in WHL in 2013-14

Saturday, 10.08.2013 / 5:04 PM / Future Watch
By Torie Peterson  - CalgaryFlames.com (@toriepeterson)
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Highly touted 2014 draft prospect Honka to play in WHL in 2013-14

CALGARY, AB -- Highly touted 2014 NHL Draft prospect Julius Honka will be making the move to North America this upcoming season, playing for the Swift Current Broncos in the WHL.

The Finn suited up for JYP's team in the Finnish under-20 league last year, scoring 4 goals and 15 points in 42 games. He also played for Finland at the 2013 World Under-18 Championship, notching 1 goal and 4 points.

"Julius Honka is smallish but an excellent skater with great balance," Goran Stubb, NHL Director of European Scouting, told NHL.com. "He is an offensive-minded defenceman with good vision and a high skill level. Quick moves, reads the game very well and loves to join the offensive rush."

Honka's decision to play in the WHL will allow more NHL scouts to see him throughout the year and could boost his rankings prior to the draft.

"I think that the biggest thing was that the draft is next spring and that is the biggest thing," Honka told NHL.com. "Last season I think I want to play (in North America) and now I have a chance to play there."

Swift Current selected Honka with the 34th overall in the 2013 CHL Import Draft. Calgary Flames prospect Coda Gordon, who was drafted in the sixth round of the 2012 NHL Draft, has spent the last three seasons with the Broncos and may return for his final year of eligibility. Last season, Gordon sat second in team scoring with 17 goals and 59 points in 70 games.

2014 FLAMES PICKS
SAM BENNETT
CENTRE - CGY
Round 1 - 4th Overall
MASON MCDONALD
GOALTENDER - CGY
Round 2 - 34th Overall
HUNTER SMITH
RIGHT WING - CGY
Round 2 - 54th Overall
BRANDON HICKEY
DEFENCE - CGY
Round 3 - 64th Overall
ADAM OLLAS MATTSSON
DEFENCE - CGY
Round 6 - 175th Overall
AUSTIN CARROLL
LEFT WING - CGY
Round 7 - 184th Overall