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.


Observations

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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

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

Stats

 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|