Team: KalPa (Liiga)
Height / Weight: 5-7 / 148
SEASON REPORT: 2019-2020
Juuso Mäenpää had an excellent season for Jokerit U20 which earned him the rookie of the year award. He also showed very well in international events. The skilled, quick and cunning forward has the potential to develop into a strong three-zone center. He already drives offense in the U20 league, he carries the puck well through the neutral zone and is an effective puck transporter. He reads the game really well and always knows where the play is headed. He’s a smooth skater with quick feet and strong acceleration. He can stop and start on a dime and change direction without losing momentum. He can create more room for himself in possession with his cutbacks as well. Offensively, he moves the puck well to his wingers and finds seams on the power play. Furthermore, he has superb vision and shows creativity in the final third. On the downside, Mäenpää is undersized and can at times get outmuscled by bigger and stronger players. His effort is not an issue, though. I do believe that he is going to need an adjustment period when he moves up to the Liiga because he may struggle in terms of physical play. A lack of size has not affected his game in a significant manner at the junior level, but I do feel Mäenpää is going to be a long-term project as an NHL prospect. Right now he might even benefit from another season at the U20’s. What makes me very optimistic about his future is that he has succeeded every level he’s played at so far.
REPORT: JOKERIT @ BLUES U18, MARCH 8, 2019
The diminutive center made plays in all three zones and scored second Jokerit goal in the first period. He made himself available for a pass and finished patiently from close range. Mäenpää moved the puck well to his wingers with short and smart passes. He was very quick to pucks in the offensive zone – showed a high work rate and played with excellent effort without the puck. Overall, this was another strong performance from the hard-working and quick 2002 born forward.
REPORT: TPS @ JOKERIT U18, AUGUST 17, 2018
Mäenpää looked excellent in a preseason game against TPS. The diminutive center is a very agile skater with a quick first step and can hit excellent top speed. He accelerated with the puck and made plays at high speed. Mäenpää worked hard and provided puck support, constantly making himself an option for short passes. Offensively, his best attribute might be his poise with the puck and the ability to carry the tempo of the game. He’s also highly responsible defensively and was used on the penalty kill. While the center is small right now, I don’t think his lack of size will deter him from becoming a good pro in the future.
REPORT: SPORT @ JOKERIT U16, SEPTEMBER 2, 2017
There were plenty of positives about Mäenpää’s performance. Given his size, it is no surprise that he is an excellent skater. He displayed quick acceleration bursts and great top speed to gain separation from opponents in the neutral zone, both with and without the puck. He was quick to jump on loose pucks and constantly involved in the play. Possessed above-average puck skills to go along with great on-ice vision. His quick hands helped him to succeed at the face-off dot. Played a pro-style game, highly composed in puck possession.