Team: Toni Utunen

Fantasy Summary

A complementary defender who brings intelligent and efficient plays to the ice. Can flash offence at times but irregularly.


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March 2022 – Utunen continues to grow his game as a mainstay shutdown defender overseas. This year, he has enjoyed top-four deployment, while contributing as a top-unit penalty killer for the Pelicans (Liiga). Even his statistical numbers – which are far from his bread-and-butter – continue to progress each season and currently sits at 11 points (4G + 7A) through 53 games. His game is simple, yet, effective and flourishes with a strong, defense-first style that could add wonders to a bottom-pairing in the future. He has one year remaining on his Finnish contract, at which point, expect him to entertain the jump to North America. Dave Hall

September 2020 – Utunen completed another season playing in Finland’s top tier. His role was much the same, however. He was used sparingly – often deployed as the #6 or #7 defender for Tappara. This 2020-21 campaign will be the final one of his current Finnish contract. It is expect that he will then cross the pond and give the American League a spin. His brand of efficient and smart defensive play will be welcomed at the bottom of the pro lineup, but don’t expect much in the way of offensive or creativity. Simple and safe are the names of the game with him. Cam Robinson

August 2019 – Utunen concluded his first full season in the Liiga by recording one goal and three points in 43 contests. He was deployed as the sixth or seventh defender with Tappara averaging just over 12 minutes a night for much of the campaign. His role should elevate in 2019-20 and he’ll look to push into a secure top-four position. Utunen has been looking strong at the World Junior Summer Showcase of yet – flashing some offense amongst his steadfast defensive play. As a returning player on the defending championship squad, he’ll be looked at to lead and be a calming presence on the blueline. It is plausible that we see the 19-year-old cross over to the AHL for 2020-21. Cam Robinson


January 2019 – The Canucks most recent fifth-round selection appears to be a winner. The two-way defender captained his Finnish squad to a gold medal at the U18 World Championships last spring. He made the U20 World Junior team as a depth player last month before working his way up to the first pairing for the medal rounds. Utunen delivered the dagger that sent Canada home in the quarter-finals when he sniped one short side in overtime. That win propelled the Finns towards another gold medal. In 23 Liiga contests, Utunen has seen bottom pairing deployment is mostly defensive situations. He’s held his own at that level albeit without any offensive production. With his Liiga contract running two more seasons, he’s considered a long term prospect for the Canucks, but if he can continue on this trajectory, he may just have a future in the big leagues. Utunen will represent one of a handful of returning players for the Finns for the 2020 rendition of the WJC where they’ll look to defend their title. Cam Robinson


June 2018 – The Vancouver Canucks selected Utunen in the fifth round of the 2018 draft. Utunen projects as a safe, defensively responsible blueliner with good leadership qualities. He led the Finns to gold at the U18 World Championships. Cam Robinson

Fantasy Upside 3.0
NHL Certainty 4.5
Country FIN
Position D
Roster Type Junior
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth April 27, 2000
Height 5‘11”
Weight 175 lbs
Drafted 2018 Round 5; Overall: 130


 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2014-2015 Tappara U16U16 SM-sarja Q7 1 45 10|        
  Tappara U16U16 SM-sarja30 7 1724 16|        
  Finland Selects U15WSI U157 3 25 8|        
 2015-2016 Tappara U18U18 SM-sarja40 4 1014 62|Playoffs3 0 00 12 
  Finland U16 YOG6 3 36 3|        
  Finland U16 (all)International-Jr8 3 69 4|        
 2016-2017 Tappara U18U18 SM-sarja0 0 00 0|Playoffs4 0 00
  Tappara U20U20 SM-sarja39 1 1011 10|Playoffs2 0 00
  TapparaLiiga1 0 00 0|        
  Finland U18 Hlinka Gretzky Cup4 0 00 4|        
  Finland U17 (all)International-Jr3 1 01 0|        
  Finland U18WJC-187 1 12 0|        
  Finland U18 (all)International-Jr20 1 12 10|        
 2017-2018 TapparaChampions HL2 0 22 2|        
  LeKiSuomen Cup3 0 55 2|        
  Tappara U18U18 SM-sarja0 0 00 0|Playoffs3 1 12
  Finland U18 Hlinka Gretzky Cup4 1 23 2|        
  Tappara U20U20 SM-sarja0 0 00 0|Playoffs6 0 22
  TapparaLiiga11 0 00 0|        
  LeKiMestis28 2 1012 12|Playoffs5 0 11
  Finland U18WJC-187 1 23 0|        
  Finland U18 (all)International-Jr25 5 813 14|        
 2018-2019 TapparaChampions HL8 0 11 4|        
  TapparaLiiga43 1 23 6|Playoffs11 0 00
  LeKiMestis1 0 00 2|        
  Finland U20WJC-207 1 01 0|        
  Finland U20 (all)International-Jr18 1 23 4|        
 2019-2020 TapparaChampions HL6 0 11 0|        
  Tappara U20U20 SM-sarja0 0 00 0|Playoffs3 0 00
  TapparaLiiga32 0 33 6|        
  Finland U20WJC-207 0 11 0|        
  Finland U20 (all)International-Jr16 2 35 0|        
 2020-2021 TapparaLiiga51 2 46 22|Playoffs9 1 01
 2021-2022 PelicansLiiga59 4 711 24|Playoffs3 0 00
 2022-2023 PelicansLiiga50 3 1215 28|Playoffs18 2 13
 2023-2024 PelicansLiiga7 0 00 0|        
  PelicansChampions HL4 0 11 4|