Seattle Kraken Power Forward
Former Seattle Kraken defenseman Jeremy Lauzon became Jani Nyman, by virtue of the latter being the 2022 2nd-round draft pick Kraken General Manager Ron Francis received in exchange for the previous at the last trade deadline.
Lauzon went on to miss time at the end of the season with a leg injury and only managed to play in three playoff games with the Nashville Predators as they got swept in the first round by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche. He since signed a four-year deal with the Predators worth $2-million per season.
The 18-year-old, left-shot, right winger Nyman remains in his native Finland where he plays for Ilves Tampere in the top SM Liiga. He has six goals and three assists in 18 games played this season. He’s considered a power forward with decent hands, standing 6-foot-3 and checking in at about 215 pounds.
Nyman essentially grew up in the hockey hotbed of Tampere where he also played juniors. His actual hometown Valkeakoski is just 20 miles down the road.
The 49th-overall pick of the Seattle Kraken last summer when he was still just 17, Nyman led his KooVee Tampere team in scoring last season with 35 points in 34 games. KooVee plays in Mestis, the 2nd-tier professional league in Finland. He also performed in ten games in the top SM Liiga along the way last season before being promoted permanently for 2022-’23.
Having turned 18 just a week after the NHL draft and a couple of weeks before the long delayed 2022 World Junior tournament, Nyman wasn’t a factor for the roster. He will be when the tournament cranks up this December and Finland plays in Group B in Moncton. They’ll be playing the very first game of the round robin on December 26th,
Nyman has tallied six points in two preliminary Under-20 games leading up to the WJC.
Pros and Cons
Nyman is a big boy who uses his size and strength effectively. He controls pucks and loves firing them. Fellow Finn Hadi Kalakeche did a write up for Dobber’s Hockey:
A massive and strong winger, Nyman loves to shoot the puck — to a fault. He regularly takes six or more shots a game and usually shoots it on net whenever he has a look. He protects the puck very well, works the boards decently using his 6-foot-3 frame and massive reach to keep opponents to the outside as he shimmies the puck to his teammates.
Not unexpected for a teenager of this size who’s still growing into his body and his feet, Nyman isn’t the best skater and still needs to work his first step in-zone.
Despite that, scouts believe Nyman’s upside involves a slot as a middle-six NHL winger. The Seattle Kraken will have a better idea when we see him against his peers at the WJC this winter and as the SM Liiga season unfolds.