Malinen’s skating ability jumps off the page. He is a smooth, elegant skater with four-way mobility. He has a quick, powerful first step and good initial burst that enables him to carry the puck away from pressure and find open space. He can change directions quickly and evade forecheckers with shifty moves in the defensive zone. He moves around the ice very well. Defensively, he takes good angles to pressure the puck carrier and he has the ability to suffocate opposing rushes. He is not the biggest of players and he doesn’t play with much natural aggression, but he can play the body effectively from time to time. Malinen is a skilled defenseman with swift hands and good puck control. He can pick pucks off the wall and start the play up the ice. I would like to see more consistency in his puck management, especially when breaking pucks out of his own end. He could also be more alert and less reactive in the defensive end. On a more positive note, the 17-year-old has a lot of time to round out his game. Malinen’s skating prowess and raw skill make him an interesting prospect for the 2021 NHL Draft.