New Jersey Devils prospect Lenni Hameenaho is having a stellar season overseas. As a result, he’s been named to the Finnish World Junior Championship roster. It’s his second invite to Finland’s U20 team who did not medal last year placing fifth in the tournament.
The Devils drafted Hameenaho in the second round of the 2023 NHL draft, 58th overall. Upon his selection, Hameenaho’s best quality was said to be his intelligence as he is known for how high his hockey IQ is. However, since then, playing in Finland’s top league, Liiga, Hameenaho has taken off as an offensive force. In 25 games playing for Ässät, the 19-year-old forward has scored 11 goals and 17 points.
Last winter, Hameenaho scored a goal and one assist in five games for Finland.
As a standout last summer at the Devils’ development camp, Hameenaho described himself as an offensive presence.
“I’m more of an offensive zone player,” Hameenaho said in July. “I like to be with the puck and I think I’m smart with it. I like to create scoring chances for myself and my linemates.”
That kind of play certainly has presented itself this summer as a standout amongst Devils rookies. That kind of prowess made itself even more noticeable when Hameenaho scored some impressive goals at the World Junior Summer Showcase, again representing Finland.
The Devils prospect forward will now have the opportunity to showcase his skills (again) at the international level. Having taken great strides since last summer, Hameenaho could very well be relied on as one of Finland’s top players. It’s been a strong showing from the former second-round selection who is making a case for himself as a steal outside the first-round.