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.


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May 2023 – In his D+1 season, the 19-year-old Leinonen returned to JYP’s U20 affiliate in Finland. He played in 23 games with them, posting a save percentage of 0.855 and a goals-against average of 2.72. His record with the team was 12-10-0-1; JYP U20 were among the lower-scoring clubs in the division and did not qualify for the postseason. The teams goals-against total of 132 was similar to all but three of the eight playoff teams. Leinonen also had a brief experience at the Mestis and Liiga levels for the second year in a row. This season, he fared better than in last year’s stint in Liiga. In eight games with the top-level JYP, Leinonen recorded a save percentage of .858 and a GAA of 3.08. He tallied a record of 1-5-1-1. JYP were not successful this season — neither the team’s regular starting goaltender nor backup posted a winning record. Leinonen, the highest-drafted goaltender of the 2022 NHL Draft class, remains quite early in his professional development but continues to improve despite his current organization’s lack of team success. Kevin Wong


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

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


 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|      
  KeuPa HTMestis2 3.15 .861|      
  Finland U18WJC-185 2.61 .897|      
  Finland U18 (all)International-Jr8 2.51 .897|      
 2022-2023 JYP U20U20 SM-sarja23 2.72 .885|      
  JYPLiiga8 3.08 .858|      
  KeuPa HTMestis2 3.61 .868|      
  Finland U19 (all)International-Jr2 0.00 1.000|      
  Finland U20 (all)International-Jr5 2.18 .874|      
 2023-2024 JYP U20U20 SM-sarja4 3.28 .871|Playoffs7 2.78 .892
  JYPLiiga6 4.14 .844|      
  KeuPa HTMestis2 4.53 .850|      
  Finland U20 (all)International-Jr- - -|