Henrik Tikkanen, the New York Islanders seventh-round draft pick in the 2020 NHL entry draft, has started this season well in the Finnish second division.
The New York Islanders made an interesting pick for their final selection in the final round of the NHL draft. The blue and orange selected twenty-year-old Finnish-born goaltender Henrik Tikkanen with the 214 overall pick.
The young netminder is an imposing figure. He stands at six feet eight inches tall and catches with his left hand. He currently applies his trade for IPK in the Mestis league in Finland. Mestis is the second division in Finland, which sits right below Liiga (the top league).
In his small sample size at the beginning of the season, Tikkanen has played in six games. He has a record of 4-1-1 with a goals-against-average of 2.31 and a .899 SV%. He is
in wins, GAA, and save percentage and only has a single loss to his name.
Tikkanen is one of the main reasons why IPK is first in the Mestis in points per game (2.33) and two points behind both Kettera and K-Espoo, who are tied for first in points in the standings. IPK has one game in hand on Kettera and two games on K-Espoo.
It is always nice to see an Islanders’ prospect play well to start the season. It is a long season, but if his production stays like this, Tikkanen is someone who Islanders fans should keep a close eye on. He could easily wind up in North America playing for the Islanders organization if he keeps his great play up.
It is a long road to the NHL for a seventh-round goaltender, but it has been done before. Henrik Lundqvist was most notably taken in the last round of the draft, back in 2000 (the same year Tikkanen was born). And Lundqvist established himself as one of the best goaltenders in the league. Tikkanen will look to follow in Lundqvist’s footsteps and be another goaltender to have a great career after being taken in the seventh round.
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The Islanders have yet to sign Tikkanen or any of their other 2020 draft picks to an entry-level deal.
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*All stats provided by Mestis*