High-risk, high-reward fantasy player with great vision and a great shot from the point.
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April 2020 – Niku’s season was full of surprises and littered with injuries. First, he was involved in a car-crash during training camp that left him sidelined for weeks, And, just when things started to turn a corner in the New Year, he suffered a lower-body injury during a pre-game soccer warmup in February. Needless to say, it was a step back for Niku’s development and he will work hard to regain his form ahead of next season. Jamie Zadow
March 2019 – Niku remains a steady presence in the Jets lineup — albeit on the bottom pairing with Ben Chiarot — as Dustin Byfuglien remains out. The Jets picked up Nathan Beaulieu at the NHL trade deadline for some depth, but once Byfuglien returns, it remains to be seen if Niku will return to the Moose. Jamie Zadow
January 2019 – After getting off to a decent start, 11 points in 18 games, the Finnish defender got the call to join the Jets in late November. He has has yet to find his footing in the NHL through 10 games. He recorded two assists earlier this month against the Nashville Predators for the first points of his young NHL career. Dustin Byfuglien remains out for the Jets, so it will be interesting to see if Niku sticks around with the big club upon his return to the lineup. Jamie Zadow
May 2018 – Niku was fantastic for the Moose in the AHL last season. In his first taste of pro hockey in North America, the Finnish defenseman didn’t disappoint, tallying 16 goals and 54 points (2nd) in 76 games. He’s a smooth skater that’s not afraid to jump in on the rush and has great vision when quarterbacking the powerplay. Selected in the 7th-round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, it looks like the Jets got themselves another steal. Jamie Zadow
September 2017 – Niku was assigned to the AHL and will join the Manitoba Moose for his first pro season in North America. He shares a similar game to fellow countryman, Tobias Enstrom, and could push for a Top four role on the Jets blue line one day. Of course, Niku will need some seasoning before he is comfortable with the North American style and will gain plenty of experience with the Moose this season. Jamie Zadow
July 2017 – The Jets signed Niku to a three-year entry level deal this offseason. The 20-year-old appeared at Jets development camp at the end of June and is expected to join their AHL affiliate the Manitoba Moose to start the season. Niku wrapped up his third professional season in Finland with five goals and 27 points in 59 games. The defenseman also shares some chemistry with Patrik Laine, as the two were part of the 2016 Finnish team that struck gold at the World Junior Hockey Championship. Jamie Zadow