Oskari Laaksonen

Buffalo Sabres
Photo courtesy of Liiga.fi

Fantasy Summary

Very good skater with good offensive skill set. Needs to add more muscle and improve his defensive game but has very good offensive upside.


Attributes
Fantasy Upside 7.0
NHL Certainty 5.5
Country FIN
Position D
Roster Type System
Shoot/Glove Right
Date of Birth July 2, 1999
Height 6‘2”
Weight 165 lbs
Drafted 2017 Round 3; Overall: 89

Observations

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


Stats

 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2014-2015 Ilves U16 Jr. C SM-sarja Q 7 0 1 1 8 |          
  Ilves U16 Jr. C SM-sarja 30 1 7 8 14 |          
 2015-2016 Ilves U18 Jr. B SM-sarja 48 7 18 25 16 | Playoffs 4 1 3 4 29 
 2016-2017 Ilves U18 Jr. B SM-sarja 10 0 10 10 12 | Playoffs 4 2 2 4
  Ilves U20 Jr. A SM-liiga 27 6 3 9 14 | Playoffs 6 1 1 2
 2017-2018 Ilves U20 Jr. A SM-liiga 40 4 11 15 52 |          
  Ilves Liiga 21 0 4 4 8 |          
  Finland U20 (all) International-Jr 6 5 1 6 4 |          
 2018-2019 Ilves Liiga 46 3 21 24 36 | Playoffs 4 0 1 1
  Finland U20 WJC-20 7 1 0 1 6 |          
  Finland U20 (all) International-Jr 19 1 6 7 28 |          
  Finland EHT 2 0 0 0 2 |          
  Finland (all) International - - - - - |          
 2019-2020 Ilves Liiga - - - - - |          

Highlights