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Fantasy Summary

Big, positionally sound goaltender who reads the play well. Has some technical aspects to clean up but has the tools to become an effective NHL netminder.


Observations

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July 2022 – The Buffalo Sabres have selected Leinonen in the second round of the 2022 NHL Draft, 41st overall. Nick Richard

June 2022 – Goaltenders with a 6-4 frame who process the game at a high level are typically a good bet for success at the professional level. This is the case with 18-year-old Finnish goaltender Topias Leinonen.

The goaltender for JYP’s U20 team this past year plays an intriguing game to evaluate as a scout. On one hand, Leinonen shines in many of the aspects that one would look for in a developing goalie. The size is obvious. His positioning and situational adjustments are strong. He anticipates play well and can read shooters’ intentions. His edgework and leg strength allow for quick lateral movements. However, there are some serious holes in his game that will have to be addressed. Although it improved as the season progressed, Leinonen has a bad case of “busy feet”. This means that he often fails to set his feet when the puck is being released, leading to unnecessary movement during shots. This, in combination with his occasionally nonchalant lateral movement, leads to poor rebounds and avoidable difficulty on shots. Another area of his game that will require some improvement is his glove positioning. Leinonen tends to play with relatively passive hands, meaning that he often fails to aggressively position his gloves to cut off shooting angles. This is particularly evident on shots off of lateral movement or screens.

To summarize, Leinonen is a goaltender with the tools to become an NHLer. Positive aspects of his game including size and game processing are impossible/difficult to teach and are projectable at the next level. He appears to be in line for some sustained action in Finland’s men’s league next year, which, if coupled with an appropriate development plan, will allow him to take his game to the next level. He is likely to be one of the first goalies to be selected at the NHL draft this July. Colin Hunter

Attributes
Fantasy Upside 7.0
NHL Certainty 6.0
Country FIN
Position G
Roster Type Draft Eligible
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth January 25, 2004
Height 6‘5”
Weight 234 lbs
Drafted 2022 Round 2; Overall: 41

Stats

 Season Team League GP GAA SVS%      Playoffs GP GAA SVS%
 2017-2018 Finland Selects U14WSI U144 3.44 .786|      
 2018-2019 JYP U16U16 SM-sarja Q20 2.90 .903|      
  JYP U16U16 SM-sarja14 3.43 .895|Playoffs5 3.40 .884
 2019-2020 JYP U18U18 SM-sarja22 - .910|      
  Finland U16 (all)International-Jr10 - .877|      
  Finland U16 YOG4 4.70 .837|      
 2020-2021 JYP U20U20 SM-sarja15 - .895|Playoffs3 2.67 .860
 2021-2022 JYP U20U20 SM-sarja21 2.28 .916|      
  Finland U18 EYOF3 2.33 .897|      
  JYPLiiga4 5.02 .825|