F (OT)

Marc Bergevin must make a call to this promising defenseman

Published September 20, 2021 at 3:21 PM

The Winnipeg Jets have announced that they will mutually terminate the final year of Finnish defenseman Sami Niku's contract.

Sami Niku is a very promising offensive defenseman, who could make the Manitoba team regret giving up on him. He was slow to establish himself as a regular defenseman in the Jets' lineup, but he is no less good for it. Paul Maurice's team already has two quality offensive defensemen in Neal Pionk and Josh Morrissey, which made it difficult for Niku to make the roster.

One team is likely to give him another chance in the NHL. Why not the Montreal Canadiens? He is a lefty, but his potential is great, especially in transition and offensive rebounding. He is mobile and talented, he has exactly the profile of the modern offensive defenseman in the NHL.

He didn't have great offensive stats in the NHL, hence his 10 points in 54 games, but he was really dominant at the lower level. He was approaching a point per game when he was playing with the AHL's Manitoba Moose with 14 points in 18 games in 2019-2020. His best offensive season came in 2017-2018 when he was just 20 years old with 54 points in 76 games. Pretty impressive, right? He was a seventh round pick of the Jets in the 2015 NHL draft.

What a head of hair he has too.


If I were Marc Bergevin, I wouldn't beat around the bush. I would drop a call to Niku's agent and pull out the heavy artillery in terms of arguments to get him to come to Montreal. The Habs have a few Finns in the organization that could try to convince him, including Joel Armia, Artturi Lehkonen and Jesse Ylonen.

Montreal fans may remember him with this sequence. He scored his first NHL goal against the Montreal Canadiens.

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