Mark Blinch

Fantasy Summary

A large goaltender with NHL-caliber talent but a history of injuries. Hopes to be healthy enough to develop into a reliable, consistent, high-quality NHL goalie.


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May 2023 – After battling through injuries in his previous campaigns, UPL was finally able to remain healthy enough to play an extended number of games with the Buffalo Sabres. In his rookie campaign with the Sabres this past season, he effectively became the team’s starting goaltender for a period of time. He started in 33 games, whereas fellow Sabre Craig Anderson started in 24 games, Eric Comrie had 19 starts, and Devon Levi started the final seven matches. UPL posted a record of 17-11-4, finishing with the best winning percentage among the three full-time Sabres goalies this season with a save percentage of .892 and a goals-against average of 3.61. This was a very respectable rookie campaign for the 23-year-old goaltender. He played in nine games at the beginning of the season for the AHL’s Rochester Americans. As a full-time member of the Sabres next season, UPL will be expected to elevate his game to that of a high-quality NHL starter. Kevin Wong


August 2020 – Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen made his transition from the ECHL to the AHL in 2019-2020 but will play on loan next season with TPS Turku of Liiga. Luukkonen played 10 games with the Rochester Americans this season beginning in January 2020, posting a .874 save percentage and 3.15 GAA. In 23 games with the ECHL’s Cincinnati Cyclones, he recorded a .912 save percentage and 2.24 GAA. He has a very low stance in net, which sometimes leaves room up high for the opposition. Just one year removed from the Ontario Hockey League, Luukkonen has a bright future and will continue his development in Finland. Kevin Wong


February 2020 – With Linus Ullmark injured and Jonas Johansson playing at the NHL level with the Sabres, Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been manning the pipes alongside Andrew Hammond in Rochester. Luukkonen has been fairly inconsistent in Rochester and owns a 3.16 GAA and a .876 SV%. It likely will not be long before Luukkonen is back with the Cinncinati Cyclones in the ECHL as Ullmark has resumed skating and Johansson will likely be sent back down to Rochester. Josh Tessler

December 2019 – Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen has been named the ECHL Goalie Of The Month for November. After 11 appearances in net, he has a 1.81 GAA and a .928. SV%. In order to keep the Andrew Hammond-Jonas Johansson tandem together in Rochester, the Sabres have Luukkonen to Cincinnati. If he continues to maintain his brick wall status in Cincinnati, it should not be look before he back up with the Rochester Americans. Josh Tessler
October 2019 – On October 20th, the Buffalo Sabres assigned Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to the Rochester Americans. Luukkonen had hip surgery during the off-season, so that delayed his season debut. At the moment, it appears that Luukkonen will make his regular-season debut in early November. Until then, Jonas Johansson and Andrew Hammond will be holding down the fort in the AHL. Josh Tessler
July 2019 – Luukkonen is coming off of a great season with the Sudbury Wolves. Even though they couldn’t beat the Ottawa 67’s in the OHL Playoffs, Luukkonen was still dominant. His positioning in net is great. When he pops out of the net to pick up the puck, he’ll make smart stretch passes to his teammates to help initiate a breakout. In addition, Luukkonen’s size allows him to avoid traffic. While his opposition will attempt to limit his vision, it’s tough to do when Luukkonen is a few inches taller.
When Luukkonen is on his knees, he transitions from side to side very nicely. Eventually, you’ll want to see Luukkonen get a tad faster when he goes from right to left and vice versa, but for the moment, he’s looking really good.
Next season, he’ll likely play with the Rochester Americans (he suited for them in one game last season). Luukkonen will be able to work with Americans head coach Chris Taylor on his transitional movements. Josh Tessler

March 2019 – The 2018-2019 season has been a monster one for Luukkonen who’s been dominant throughout the year, registering a league-wide best save percentage with .921, taking a team that finished dead last the previous year into the playoffs, now sitting as the fourth best team in the entire league. Luukkonen signed his entry level contract last year on June 2018, so he may be playing for Rochester in the AHL next year, but UPL has cemented himself as a top five goaltending prospect in the league right now. Marcus Griep


June 2018 – The Finnish goaltender played a full season in the second tier of Finnish hockey, collecting 24 starts and posting a GAA of 2.92 with a .909 SV%. Luukkonen also got his feet wet in the Liiga for one game with HPK, although he didn’t post the greatest results. Next year he looks to line up for HPK and get some top league experience in the Liiga. The big test will be seeing how well he can perform as he looks to start developing his game to a suitable level where he can come over to North America. Marcus Griep


December 2017 – The top-rated European goalie in the 2017 draft, Luukkonen is getting his first taste of professional action suiting up for Lempäälän Kisa of the second-tier Mestis in Finland. Serving as the number one goaltender for third place LeKi, Luukkonen has played in 18 games posting a 0.914 SVS, a top five mark in the league, and a 2.78 GAA which puts him in 10th. Named to Finland’s entry for the WJHC, he should take the reins as the number one goalie on a deep and competitive team. Brad Phillips


June 2017 – The Buffalo Sabres drafted Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen with their second selection in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Luukkonen is a lengthy goaltender and has quick reflexes at the ready. He cuts down angles really well and can make despiration saves. Can get caught out of position from time-to-time, but has the athleticism to redeem himself. Will continue to grow in Finland with HPK and is on track to start for Finland in the 2018 World Junior Championship. Max Marko

Fantasy Upside 8.0
NHL Certainty 9.0
Country FIN
Position G
Roster Type NHL
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth March 9, 1999
Height 6‘4”
Weight 196 lbs
Drafted 2017 Round 2; Overall: 54


 Season Team League GP GAA SVS%      Playoffs GP GAA SVS%
 2013-2014 Jää-Ahmat U16U16 Suomi-sarja Q3 - .940|      
  Jää-Ahmat U16U16 Suomi-sarja7 - .935|      
  Jää-Ahmat U18U18 Suomi-sarja1 9.00 .791|      
 2014-2015 HPK U16U16 SM-sarja Q9 2.78 .911|      
  HPK U16U16 SM-sarja- - -|      
  Finland U16 (all)International-Jr3 3.65 -|      
 2015-2016 HPK U18U18 SM-sarja31 - .901|      
  HPK U20U20 SM-sarja15 1.98 .924|Playoffs8 1.94 .920
  Finland U17WHC-171 3.00 .903|      
  Finland U18WJC-183 2.00 .917|      
 2016-2017 HPK U20U20 SM-sarja35 1.78 .917|Playoffs9 2.01 .915
  Finland U18WJC-186 2.90 .899|      
  Finland U18 Hlinka Gretzky Cup2 4.58 .850|      
  Finland U18 (all)International-Jr13 3.63 .890|      
 2017-2018 LeKiSuomen Cup2 3.00 .882|      
  HPK U20U20 SM-sarja2 2.50 .924|      
  HPKLiiga1 3.55 .750|      
  LeKiMestis24 2.92 .909|      
  Finland U20WJC-205 3.13 .879|      
  Finland U20 (all)International-Jr14 - .881|      
 2018-2019 Sudbury WolvesOHL53 2.50 .920|Playoffs8 3.27 .906
  Rochester AmericansAHL1 2.00 .941|      
  Finland U20WJC-206 1.80 .932|      
  Finland U20 (all)International-Jr10 - .916|      
 2019-2020 Rochester AmericansAHL10 3.15 .874|      
  Cincinnati CyclonesECHL23 2.24 .912|      
 2020-2021 TPSLiiga13 2.52 .908|      
  Buffalo SabresNHL4 3.88 .906|      
  Rochester AmericansAHL14 3.60 .888|      
 2021-2022 Buffalo SabresNHL9 2.74 .917|      
  Rochester AmericansAHL35 3.28 .900|      
 2022-2023 Buffalo SabresNHL33 3.61 .892|      
  Rochester AmericansAHL9 3.07 .898|      
 2023-2024 Buffalo SabresNHL54 2.57 .910|