Sami Niku – Defenseman –
Sami Niku is a very versatile defenseman with both offensive and defensive upside. He shoots left but has experience playing on both the left and right side.
He’s known to have a high hockey IQ and makes smart moves with the puck while being defensively responsible.
He’s an average sized defenseman who blocks a lot of shots and was able to record six assists in 13 NHL games last season with bottom pairing minutes on an atrocious Montreal Canadiens team.
In the AHL, he has 24 goals and 93 points in 150 games and won the Eddie Shore Award in 2018 as the AHL’s best defenseman.
He’s ready to play fulltime in the NHL, and though he’d probably start off as a seventh defenseman on the Leafs, I think he could be a surprising player who could compete for more ice-time.