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Fantasy Summary

Two-way defender who skates well with the puck but prefers to play a more outlet-driven game. Defends using active stick work and quickness rather than physicality. Must make quicker decisions with the puck.


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August 2020 – Laaksonen finished the 2019-2020 Liiga season with two goals and 12 points in 46 games, a clear regression from his previous season’s total of 24 points in 46 games. Laaksonen is a mobile, two-way defenceman who uses a long stick as well as active body positioning to angle off opponents. He is a tall 6-2, but at the age of 21 he weighs just 165 lbs. He can sometimes be overwhelmed along the boards as a result, and he also must work on better decision-making with the puck. There are times when he takes too long to distribute the puck and is thus placed into difficult situations by his opponent. Laaksonen signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Buffalo Sabres in June 2020 and is slated to play in North America once regular-season action resumes. Kevin Wong


February 2020 – Laaksonen has taken a step back in terms of his offensive production. he had a 39 game goal drought but he finally was able to score a goal on February 22nd against SaiPa. Keep in mind that Laaksonen is not a goal scorer. He had three goals last season with Ilves but his assist total has dropped significantly. Josh Tessler


November 2019 – Laaksonen is having a topsy-turvy campaign for Ilves. The Finnish defenseman is nowhere close to matching his point totals from last season (24 points in 46 games). In addition, Laaksonen missed a month of play due to an injury and only returned to the lineup on the 13th. This season, Laaksonen has suited up in 16 games and recorded five points (one goal and four assists). Since returning from his injury, the Ilves coaching staff has eased the Sabres prospect back into the lineup. He has been averaging roughly 10 minutes a night, which is smart since he needs some time to get himself back into fighting shape. If Laaksonen can catch up to speed quickly, he could light up the lamp as he has plenty of talent in the offensive zone.  Josh Tessler


March 2019 – What a breakout year it’s been for Laaksonen, coming from being a relatively unknown draft pick to turning heads into becoming a legitimate high-end defense prospect. He torched the Liiga this year as a 19-year-old defender scoring 22 points in 44 games with Ilves and easily made the World Junior squad, anchoring the Finns into a fantastic tournament win. He still hasn’t signed his entry level contract with Buffalo yet, but it will surely come soon and he’ll probably play another year in Finland before heading over to North America. Marcus Griep


December 2018 – Laaksonen has had a fantastic year in the Liiga so far with Ilves, scoring 13 points in 25 games and playing over 20 minutes a game on the top pairing. Laaksonen has also been selected to Finland’s World Junior Championship camp and is a lock to make the team where he will most likely play on the top pairing. Marcus Griep


October 2018 – Laaksonen has had a great start to his first full season in the Finnish Liiga. So far this season, he’s scored nine points with a plus-nine rating in 15 games. He’s averaging 20 minutes of ice time per game which is the highest on his team among defensemen. He’s also seeing about three minutes per game on the power play where three of his nine points have been scored. It’s looking very much like a breakout season for the 19-year-old defenseman who is very likely going to play a major role for Team Finland at the World Juniors. Depending on who’s available for the tournament, Laaksonen could end up playing on the top pair and top power play for the Finns. It’s recommended to add him now in deep leagues before others realize how good he’s been. But be prepared to wait a couple of years because he needs to add a lot of muscle before playing in the NHL.  Jokke Nevalainen


April 2018 – The Finnish puck moving defenseman Oskari Laaksonen stepped out of the U20’s and into the Liiga with Ilves this year after a mediocre U20 season. In the Liiga, Laaksonen showed flashes of his puck moving, smart passing potential, but struggled to produce, only putting up only four assists in 21 games. The 6’2 Finn still needs to put on muscle and grow into his large frame as he’s sometimes thrown off the puck and outmuscled by the stronger men in the league.  Marcus Griep


June 2017 – The Buffalo Sabres went completely off of projected draft boards, rankings, and lists with their third round selection of defenseman Oskari Laaksonen. Laaksonen is a puck moving defenseman who has tremendous vision and hands. Needs to add on a lot more weight and grow his frame. Has good instincts in his own zone, but does not yet have the size to execute some break-ups. Max Marko

Fantasy Upside 6.5
NHL Certainty 5.5
Country FIN
Position D
Roster Type Junior
Shoot/Glove Right
Date of Birth July 2, 1999
Height 6‘2”
Weight 165 lbs
Drafted 2017 Round 3; Overall: 89


 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2014-2015 Ilves U16U16 SM-sarja Q7 0 11 8|        
  Ilves U16U16 SM-sarja30 1 78 14|        
 2015-2016 Ilves U18U18 SM-sarja48 7 1825 16|Playoffs4 1 34 29 
 2016-2017 Ilves U18U18 SM-sarja10 0 1010 12|Playoffs4 2 24
  Ilves U20U20 SM-sarja27 6 39 14|Playoffs6 1 12
 2017-2018 Ilves U20U20 SM-sarja40 4 11