Lukko announced on Friday that the club has signed two young players to Liiga contracts. 18-year-old defenseman Luka Nyman has signed a one-year contract, with an option for two more years, while 19-year-old defenseman Noel Pietilä will play the next two years in Rauma. His contract features an option for another year. Pietilä spent the past three seasons with HIFK U20, whereas Nyman played for Salzburg juniors in Austria in the last two seasons. He also has a wealth of national team experience, having played for the Finnish U16, U17 and U18 teams. Without further ado, let’s take a closer look at these two players and what they will bring to their new team.
Noel Pietilä is an excellent skater who moves well in all directions and has explosive first few strides. His powerful first step and superb lateral agility stand out. He can do many things with the puck on account of his skating and puck skills. Very active offensively and will carry the puck up the ice, as he has the hands to keep up with his pace and control the puck at top speed. I’ve seen him score on an end-to-end rush multiple times over the last few years. He also likes to join the rush in a supportive role to create options. Defensively, Noel trusts his skating, uses proper angling and has an active stick. He hasn’t been a big point producer in the juniors, but his numbers did see a nice boost this past season and I think he will be capable of creating offense and using his strengths at the pro level.
As mentioned earlier, Luka Nyman spent the past two seasons in Austria with Salzburg juniors. The Jokerit product is a well-rounded defenseman with good puck moving abilities and offensive vision. Nyman gives smart outlet passes and is calculated in possession. He processes the game quickly, sorts out his options and makes the correct choices with the puck. He can retrieve pucks well. Capable of playing in a shutdown role and being relied upon to play in all situations. Not the most dynamic defenseman given his size/skating combo. Nonetheless, I think there are many reasons to like this acquisition for Lukko.