Samu Salminen

Born: 2003-04-09

Team: Jokerit U20

Position: Center/Left Wing

Shoots: Left

Height / Weight: 6-2 / 163


Salminen was a key forward on the Finnish team that finished fourth in the tournament. He definitely lived up to the expectations and showed why he could be a wortwhile pick in the second or third round of the NHL Draft in July. He went to the net with regularity and did a lot of strong work away from the puck which did not show on the scoresheet. He did score seven goals, five of them on the power play, and displayed a scorer’s touch. He won 70 percent of his face-offs and led all players by a fair margin in this category. Furthermore, he has a very good understanding of the game and makes clever decisions with and without the puck. I have some concerns about his skating and whether he’ll be able to create significant speed differential at the next level, especially in offensive transitions. That being said, his high work rate, strong puck skills and offensive vision make him an interesting prospect with noteworthy potential.


Salminen put together a solid performance in a three-game set against Russia U17. The captain of the Finnish team played wing on the first line and had quite a bit of ice-time on special teams, too. He also took a lot of face-offs and managed really well, winning 65 percentage of his draws with all three games combined. Salminen is a smart player with above-average puck skills even at the international level. He has smooth hands, he can distribute the puck at a high level and use indirect passing to find his teammates in the offensive zone. He showed the willingness to drive to the net with the puck a couple of times. Salminen’s skating is quite good at the moment, but there is some room for improvement, especially in his mobility and backwards skating. Salminen managed to score three points to lead the Finnish team in scoring with Niko Huuhtanen.


Salminen centered Jokerit U18 first line and got ice-time on the power play in a 6-2 win over HPK. He scored the game’s opening goal which came only 14 seconds into the first period. He won a puck battle at the side of the net and jammed the puck past the goalie. He could have had a couple of more goals with better finishing. Salminen showed above-average puck skills and understanding of the game. He was responsible defensively and used his stick really well. He seemed to have a knack for causing turnovers and taking away time and space from opponents. He had good speed and he was quick to pucks. Once he had the puck in the offensive zone, he was able to make quick decisions.


Salminen had a solid game on the first line and got on the scoresheet with two goals. In the first one, he moved to the front of the net and showcased a goal-scorer’s touch in tight. His second goal came on a partial breakaway where his separation speed was notable. He made a really good screen on one play. In the first period, he also received a pass off his skates and fired a wrister that just missed far side. Salminen’s acceleration and speed both were good. The biggest takeaway is that he looked like a skilled player with good hockey sense.