Henri Nikkanen

Born: 2001-04-28

Team: Jukurit

Position: Center

Shoots: Left

Height / Weight: 6-2 / 185


15. C Henri Nikkanen – Jukurit (U20)

Nikkanen’s season was a tough one, he missed development time due to injury and he was one of the last cuts from the U18 World Championship team. He has great size and although not exceptionally skilled, he does have quick hands and creates offense through very good stickhandling. Decent hockey sense, needs to work on decision making which has been an occasional issue. Nikkanen has the raw talent to become a strong pro center, one who could possibly help an NHL team down the road.


The tall, skilled centerman will return to Jukurit after spending the last three seasons with JYP juniors. Nikkanen has deft puck handling skills and can execute highly skilled plays. In my viewings of JYP U20, he was able to play a reliable defensive game thanks to having strong awareness and a quick stick. He has good offensive vision, but could at times show more poise and make better decisions with the puck in the final third. Has good skating mechanics and agility, but could work on his top-end speed and coordination. Nikkanen could definitely be a first round pick next year if he can put all the pieces of his game together. Whether he’s able to play regularly in the Liiga is going to be a key for his draft stock.


Nikkanen received plenty of responsibility and had a good game as JYP U20 beat Jokerit 5-2. His point was a secondary assist on a power play goal which was scored by fellow 2019 NHL Draft eligible prospect Anttoni Honka. Nikkanen has an interesting toolbox of skills. He is a really smooth and agile skater who possesses good top-end speed and skating mechanics. He showed good positioning without the puck, used his stick well and read the developing play accordingly. He has quick hands and can stickhandle in tight space. However, he could have made more precise and easier passes several times in the offensive zone. He took a couple of shots from sharp angles, generally I would have liked to see him attack more inside the dots. He did not play an overly physical game.