Names To Know: Jonathan Lekkerimaki Provides A Knack For Goal Scoring, A Great Shot, And Could Be A Top-Six Scoring Weapon

By Will Chase on May 24, 2022 at 1:45 pm
2022 NHL Draft prospect Jonathan Lekkerimaki

Welcome to the 10th installment of 'Names To Know', a look-ahead at prospects who the Columbus Blue Jackets could select in the upcoming NHL Draft.

The Blue Jackets hold two first-round draft picks—No. 6 and No. 12–giving the club a prime opportunity to bolster its young core as they continue their organizational reset. In a wide-open NHL draft, there are plenty of names to be considered ahead of July. 

Today, it's time to talk about 17-year-old Jonathan Lekkerimaki, a right winger from Sweden. Mock draft models project Lekkerimaki right within the window of where the Blue Jackets will be picking from.

At 5-foot-11, 172 pounds, and billed as a future top-six forward, among Lekkerimaki's better assets is his wrist shot and the ability for scoring a lot of goals as he did in Sweden.  

Lekkerimaki split time in 2021-22 with the Djurgardens IF J20 squad where he played 26 games and scored 35 points (20 goals, 15 assists). With Djurgardens IF (SHL) he played 26 games scoring nine points (seven goals, two assists).

He participated internationally for Sweden in the U18 World Championship, leading the tournament with 15 points and 10 assists in six games (he also led Sweden with five goals) helping the Swedes win gold. Lekkerimaki had slight playing time in U20 competition as well. In the Hlinka Gretzky Cup, he scored five points (all goals to lead Sweden) in five games.

The Blue Jackets boast a few players with a lethal shot, from the likes of Yegor Chinakhov to all-star Patrik Laine, so adding another offensive presence that scores a lot of goals sure seems like a way to go.

Corey Pronman of The Athletic ranked him as his 10th overall prospect.

Lekkerimaki is a skilled winger who has various offensive elements in his game, but the clear strength of his game is his shot. He is a goal-scoring threat from the faceoff dots with a hard, accurate wrist shot and one-timer that projects to be a weapon in the NHL. He has good speed, hands and vision to generate clean entries and make plays but those aspects don’t pop like his shot. Like a lot of shooters, he leans too much on his best asset and play too much on the perimeter which isn’t ideal for a player who lacks size. Lekkerimaki projects as a quality top-six winger.

Mock Draft Results
Sportsnet 7th
The Athletic 11th
Tankathon 8th 8th, 11th
The Hockey News 10th