Fantasy Summary

A super athletic netminder with tons of room to grow into his frame. If he continues to progress at his current pace, we could be looking at a solid starter at the NHL level.


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September 2023 – Merilainen was solid in the two games he took part in at the prospects tournament in Buffalo. He is calm in his crease and covers a lot of the net. He is hoping to play at least 30-40 games with Bellevue in the AHL in 2023-24. Grant Campbell


March 2023 – Merilainen’s season ended in the Finnish Liiga as Karpat was eliminated in the playoffs. He didn’t suit up for a game during the playoffs as he was injured, but had an excellent regular season where he played in 42 games and had a save percentage of .918 It is expected he will make his way over to Belleville of the AHL for the remainder of this season and if healthy he might see some games before the end of the year. The 20-year-old might need a few seasons in the AHL. Grant Campbell


August 2022 – The 20-year-old Merilainen began the 2022 U20 WJC as the starting goalie for Finland at the outset of the tournament. His play faltered a little especially during a 6-3 loss to Canada in the round robin and teammate Juha Jatkola took over for the QF, SF and Finals . Grant Campbell


June 2022 – This season, the now 20-year-old Merilainen played in North America, plying his trade in the OHL with the high-scoring Kingston Frontenacs for the whole season. He played 53 games in the regular season with a 3.29 GAA and a 89.1 save percentage along with 11 playoff games with a 3.69 GAA and a 88.8 save percentage. Although he played well in the five games he played with Finland U20s,  I’m not sure his game is ready for the AHL, so he might need to see what his options are back home in Finland for next season if Ottawa doesn’t extend a contract yet. Grant Campbell


July 2021- After being relatively unknown in his draft year, Merilainen had a fantastic D+1 year with the Karpat U20 team, posted a very respectable .934 save percentage. He also recently committed to the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL for the 2021-2022 season, so Merilainen will be moving his game over to the North American ice earlier than expected. Expect him to have a standout year both in the OHL and with Finland on the international stage prior to transitioning his game to the pro level. Jacob Barker

Fantasy Upside 6.0
NHL Certainty 6.5
Country FIN
Position G
Roster Type Junior
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth April 13, 2002
Height 6‘3”
Weight 174 lbs
Drafted 2020 Round 3; Overall: 71


 Season Team League GP GAA SVS%      Playoffs GP GAA SVS%
 2016-2017 Kärpät U16U16 SM-sarja Q0 - -|      
  Kärpät U16U16 SM-sarja0 - -|      
 2017-2018 Kärpät U16U16 SM-sarja Q7 1.14 .942|      
  Kärpät U16U16 SM-sarja12 1.75 .921|Playoffs4 1.50 .927
 2018-2019 Kärpät U17 EteläU17 SM-sarja22 - .918|Playoffs6 2.33 .932
  Kärpät U18U18 SM-sarja5 - .856|      
 2019-2020 Kärpät U18U18 SM-sarja19 - .942|      
  Kärpät U20U20 SM-sarja16 - .908|Playoffs0 - -
 2020-2021 Kärpät U20U20 SM-sarja22 - .934|Playoffs5 2.60 .900
  KärpätLiiga0 - -|      
 2021-2022 Kingston FrontenacsOHL53 3.29 .891|Playoffs11 3.69 .888
  Finland U20 (all)WJC-20 Cancelled1 1.00 .958|      
  Finland U20WJC-204 2.70 .893|      
  Finland U20 (all)International-Jr4 - .941|      
 2022-2023 KärpätLiiga42 2.02 .918|      
  Ottawa SenatorsNHL2 4.23 .878|      
  Belleville SenatorsAHL4 2.06 .933|      
 2023-2024 Ottawa SenatorsNHL0 - -|      
  Belleville SenatorsAHL24 2.87 .906|Playoffs1 2.09 .931
  Allen AmericansECHL13 2.97 .926|      
 2024-2025 Belleville SenatorsAHL- - -|