Henri Nikkanen

Born: 2001-04-28

Team: Jukurit

Position: Center

Shoots: Left

Height / Weight: 6-4 / 210


Nikkanen centered Finland’s third line against Switzerland, playing alongside Mikael Pyyhtiä and Aku Räty. He was effective in each zone and made his presence felt around the net. He screened the Swiss goalie as the Finns scored on the power play, taking away his sight of the puck. The Winnipeg Jets prospect won puck battles along the wall and disrupted opponents with an active stick. He has put on weight and it showed here as he was quite strong on the puck as well. He had a few shot attempts and showed a quick release on his wrist shot. Good technical skills, could make plays under pressure and had a prepared stick. He showed head for the game and was sound defensively. I look forward to seeing him more at the World Juniors, his first two performances have been promising.


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.