Photo courtesy of Liiga.fi

Fantasy Summary

Pro-framed center with strong hockey sense. Defensively responsible with decent playmaking abilities and vision. Needs to improve his foot speed and skating mechanics to take the next step.


Observations

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May 2022 – Nikkanen spent his 2021/22 season with his club Pelicans in Liiga where he recorded 12 points (seven goals, five assists). Although this seems to be a step back from his previous season with 20 points in 47 games with Jukurit, a deeper dive reveals Nikkanen’s 5v5 ice time was cut by over four minutes per night, with an entire minute slashed off his powerplay opportunities. Perhaps this can be attributed to Nikkanen heading to a much improved Pelican team and the difficulty for young players to find meaningful minutes in Liiga. Despite the addition of budding star linemate Brad Lambert halfway through the season, Nikkanen’s production remained stagnant. He signed his Entry-Level-Contract on April 9th, and appeared in four games for the Manitoba Moose to end the season, but was held scoreless. He will try his luck next year in his first full season in North America, likely at the AHL level. While his quickness and skating need improvement before becoming an NHL regular, he remains a reliable center
with respectable playmaking and vision.

March 2020 – Nikkanen tore up the Jr. A league in Finland at a point per game pace this season, but his offense sputtered when he made the jump to Liiga — just three points in 27 games. At just 18, he will definitely spend more time in Finland honing his skills before he is ready to make the transition to North America. Jamie Zadow

June 2019 – Nikkanen has been drafted 113th overall by the Jets.  Jokke Nevalainen

June 2019 – Nikkanen’s draft-eligible year was ruined by an injury that kept him out for a big stretch in the middle of the season. He split the time he was healthy between Liiga, Mestis and Jr. A. Nikkanen was cut from the U18 Worlds team, but one must take into consideration that he played his first games in a while in the training camp, so he was far away from peak form.

Nikkanen continues to be an intriguing prospect due to his set of desirable tools. He is a 6-foot-2 and plays down the middle. He is a very good skater for his size and has silky pair of mitts. Nikkanen’s hockey sense has been a question mark for me in the past, but despite that he could be a very good pick if the injuries make him fall too low in the draft.  Lassi Alanen

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 6.5
NHL Certainty 5.0
Country FIN
Position C
Roster Type Junior
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth April 28, 2001
Height 6‘2”
Weight 185 lbs
Drafted 2019 Round 4; Overall: 113

Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2015-2016 JYP U16U16 SM-sarja Q10 4 1115 2|        
  JYP U16U16 SM-sarja27 20 1535 10|Playoffs3 1 12
 2016-2017 JYP U18U18 SM-sarja28 13 1528 4|        
  JYP U20U20 SM-sarja13 3 811 2|Playoffs3 1 01
  Finland U16 (all)International-Jr11 6 713 4|        
 2017-2018 JYP U20U20 SM-sarja50 20 1838 10|Playoffs4 0 22
  Finland U17WHC-175 3 25 0|        
  Finland U17 (all)International-Jr16 9 1019 8|        
  Finland U18 (all)International-Jr