ST. CLOUD, Minn. — St. Cloud State freshman Veeti Miettinen is attending online classes as he awaits his visa to get into the United States. Huskies head coach Brett Larson said that he had a visa meeting set up during the offseason, a COVID-19 spike hit Finland and the building where his meeting was supposed to be was shut down.
"We're working on it daily and it's our No. 1 priority," Huskies head coach Brett Larson said. "We're just trying to keep him believing that it's going to work and encouraging him and letting him know that he's going to be taken care of when he gets here. The team is looking forward to him getting here and a lot of the guys have been messaging him.
"It's been a tough process, but we're hoping that he hangs in there because we think he's a special player. He's going to add a lot to this program."
But the 19-year-old from Espoo, Finland, got some good news on Wednesday afternoon. Miettinen, a 5-foot-9, 161-pound forward, was selected in the sixth round (168th overall) of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.
"His shot is high end," Larson said. "He gets the puck off quickly and he's a goal scorer, but he's got that high end compete, too. He's a smaller player, which may have pushed him down the draft board a bit. But when I saw him play — for the (St. Cloud State) fans, a visual I have for him is he's a version of Robby Jackson. He can rip the puck, score goals. Robby had a high-end compete level, too, where there were not many puck battles that he would lose and he wasn't afraid to get into the dirty areas (on the ice) and get after it."
Last season, Miettinen led the Jr. A SM-liiga, the top junior league in Finland, in goals (42) and points (73) in 52 regular season games. He had 14 more goals than anyone else in the league and 12 more points.
As an 17-year-old in 2018-19, he played for the Blues U20 team in the same league. He had 27 goals and 34 assists and was plus-24 in 48 regular season games. His 61 points were fourth in the league and he had the sixth-best plus/minus in the league, which has 18 teams. The three players who finished with more points were 19 and 20 years old.