With the 17th pick in the fourth-round pick (113 overall) of the 2023 NHL Draft, the NY Islanders selected LW Jesse Nurmi from KooKoo of the Finnish junior league.
Ranked No. 28 by NHL Central Scouting (European skaters), Nurmi is a confident winger, efficient in scoring and playmaking, with his most prominent asset being his skating. Not only can Nurmi blow past defensemen, but he's also similarly potent at maneuvering around the opposition while manipulating his edges.
He's an endless ball of energy, making his presence known on the rush. Nurmi's capable of carrying the puck into the offensive zone or tracking down the puck in the dump-and-chase game. As the Islanders and their prospect pool have been desperate to find a winger with wheels, Nurmi can potentially fill that void.
Spending the majority of the 2022-23 season playing in the Finnish junior leagues, Nurmi scored 21 goals adding 29 helpers in 41 games. Leading his team and finishing sixth in the league in points, Nurmi earned multiple call-ups to Liiga, appearing in nine games. Only posting a single assist in Finland's top league, Nurmi gained valuable experience as he'll likely see more time in Liiga next season.
Named to the Finnish squad at the U-18 World Championship, where he registered five points (one goal, four assists), Nurmi was one of the bright spots for Finland as they endured a disappointing quarter-final exit.
In a typical draft, a fourth-round pick may be considered a selection where the organization and fan base hope the player can perhaps turn into something special. With the quantity of highly skilled players available this year, Nurmi isn't a typical fourth-round pick, as he was projected by many to be taken a round sooner.
It will likely be at least two years before we see Nurmi make his way to North America, where he'll get his feet wet on the smaller North American ice with the Bridgeport Islanders.