Courtesy of Prime Time Sports Talk

Fantasy Summary

Mobile skater who can accelerate quickly in any direction, and has some playmaking potential. However, a lack of production in Finland so far tilts a projection toward a bottom-pairing blueliner with sneaky upside. A long-term project.


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August 2023 – Malinen held his own against U20 players last season and is still a longer term prospect. His offensive output in Liiga did not improve much but that is fine as the 20 year still has a ways to go before he has any chance of playing for the Islanders. James Iacovone


January 2023 – Malinen still looks like a long term project. His offensive production in the Liiga has not improved since his draft year, and he recorded just a single assist in five games at the World Junior Championship. That being said, he played a defensively minded third pairing role and played that role quite well against some of the best U20 players in the world. If he were to make it to the NHL, he would almost certainly play a similar role at that level. Graham Montgomery


June 2022 – The Islanders have made only five draft picks in the first three rounds during the past three years. Malinen exemplifies the kind of late-round acquisition the Isles need to graduate to the NHL to help keep them competitive. Picked in the sixth round (189th overall) of the 2021 draft, the 19-year-old has a skill set that allowed him to play 30 games in Finland’s top men’s league as a 17-year-old. He’s doesn’t avoid physical play and he’s an effortless, mobile skater capable of beating forecheckers and bringing the puck out of his zone. That said, it’s hard to get a read on him because a lack of offensive production is surely why he was available so late in the draft, although it’s unfair to criticize him for getting just three points as a teen facing the hardened men of the Liiga. Still, Malinen totaled a mere four goals and three assists in five international tournaments in the past four years against fellow junior players. His offensive apex came during the 2021-22 campaign when he compiled three goals and 14 assists for JYP’s U-20 squad. He’s expected to stick with JYP of the Liiga in the coming season, when scouts should get a more accurate read on his potential. He’ll need to get stronger to have any chance of succeeding in North America. At this point, he looks like a long-term project. Mark Allan

Fantasy Upside 3.5
NHL Certainty 3.0
Country FIN
Position D
Roster Type Europe
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth May 26, 2003
Height 6‘0”
Weight 185 lbs
Drafted 2021 Round 6; Overall: 189


 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2017-2018 JYP U16U16 SM-sarja Q21 4 59 4|        
  JYP U16U16 SM-sarja13 3 36 4|Playoffs3 2 13
 2018-2019 JYP U16U16 SM-sarja1 0 22 2|Playoffs5 3 47
  JYP U18U18 SM-sarja41 2 1214 12|        
  Finland U16 (all)International-Jr9 0 22 2|        
 2019-2020 JYP U18U18 SM-sarja3 0 22 0|        
  JYP U20U20 SM-sarja49 1 910 6|        
  Finland U17WHC-175 0 00 0|        
  Finland U17 (all)International-Jr19 2 13 0|        
 2020-2021 JYP U20U20 SM-sarja0 0 00 0|Playoffs3 0 11
  JYPLiiga30 2 13 10|        
  Finland U18WJC-187 1 01 0|        
 2021-2022 JYP U20U20 SM-sarja33 3 1417 20|        
  JYPLiiga6 0 00 0|        
  KeuPa HTMestis2 0 00 0|        
  Finland U20 (all)International-Jr5 1 01 2|        
 2022-2023 JYP U20U20 SM-sarja5 1 23 2|        
  JYPLiiga42 0 77 2|        
  KeuPa HTMestis3 1 12 4|        
  Finland U20WJC-205 0 11 2|        
  Finland U20 (all)International-Jr13 2 13 2|        
 2023-2024 JYPLiiga15 0 22 0|