A raw winger with playmaking abilities, could become a middle-6 NHL player if all goes well.
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June 2023 – Pajuniemi has signed with Malmo of the Swedish Hockey League for the 2023-24 campaign after two seasons with the Hartford Wolf Pack. The sniping winger posted 19 goals and 19 assists in 68 games played last season, after scoring 13 goals and 13 assists in 51 games for Hartford the year prior. The Finn remains on the Rangers’ reserve list, and his signing rights remain with New York on an indefinite basis. One would imagine that the decision to return to Europe was Pajuniemi’s alone, as he seemingly fit in well with his Hartford teammates. Presumably, Rangers management sought to sign him to a contract extension prior to being informed that the 23 year old was departing the organization. Brendan Ferry
July 2022 – Pajuniemi completed his first year in North America, skating in 51 games for the Hartford Wolf Pack, where he registered 13 goals and 13 assists for 26 points. Pajuniemi signed his two- year ELC in April of 2021, making him an RFA at the end of 2022-2023. The 2018 fifth round pick will enter his second full season for Hartford in the Fall. He put up strong numbers for TPS in his native Finland, utilizes his great shot and scoring touch to keep opposing defenses guessing. If all goes well for Pajuniemi, he projects as a middle six NHL winger who can put the puck in the net and chip in on the powerplay. Brendan Ferry
February 2021 – Pajuniemi has continued to leverage his blistering wrist shot through his fourth Liiga slate. His ability to get that shot off under pressure and with pinpoint accuracy from anywhere in the offensive zone provides some exciting potential for the Rangers prospect who has developed into a blue-chip prospect for the organization. His projections vary, however, with the right supporting cast there is absolutely still the possibility that he joins the team as a player capable of contributing on an the teams’ second line within two years. Brayden Olafson
April 2020 – The Rangers Finnish prospect showed evidence of tremendous offensive development in his second full slate in the Liiga. Through 49 games Pajuniemi scored 40 points including 26 goals for TPS, with the majority of his production coming on the man advantage. His knack for finding the back of the net is an asset that the Rangers surely crave, however, the 20-year-old still has some work to do in the way of applying his technical skills to the entire span of the ice. He will likely remain in Finland for another year before signing an ELC, but his long-term upside has certainly taken a jump over the last eight months. Brayden Olafson
August 2019 – Pajuniemi made the jump to the top Finnish league as a 19-year-old this year where he had a respectable rookie campaign playing behind fellow Rangers prospect Kaapo Kakko. With the departure of Kakko to north America, Pajuniemi will have an opportunity to take on a larger role with TPS this year. He remains a mid-level prospect who the Rangers will likely allow to develop overseas until such time that he has proven to be capable of taking the next step. He must be signed by June 1st, 2022 in order to avoid becoming a free agent. Brayden Olafson
June 2018 – The Ranger’s selected five defensemen and a goaltender after Vitali Kravstov before the next available player on their list was a forward. That forward was Finnish right-winger, Lauri Pajuniemi. Pajuniemi is a skilled playmaker with well-tuned skating who’s had some exposure to playing against men in Liiga with TPS. He’s expected to rejoin them next fall where he will make a case for a regular lineup spot on the Finn’s World Junior squad during the holidays. Brayden Olafson