Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2022 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you our Jani Nyman Scouting Report.
Finnish forward Jani Nyman started his draft year with a breakout performance in the Hlinka-Gretzky Cup. He scored three goals and four assists for seven points in five games. He also played for Finland at the European Youth Olympics, where he picked up two goals and two assists in four games and helped them win a gold medal. Nyman also won a bronze medal at the IIHF Under-18 World Championships. He scored two goals and four points in the six-game tournament.
On the club side, Nyman bounced between leagues. Signed to play in the Ilves system, he had just one assist in 10 games in the SM Liiga, Finland’s top men’s league. While he wasn’t ready for the top league, he also showed in 2020-21 that as a 16-year-old he could score in the Finnish junior leagues. Looking at his development, Ilves loaned him to KooVee Tampere to play in the Mestis, Finland’s second highest men’s league. He put up 18 goals and 17 assists for 35 points in 34 games. Nyman also added a goal and two points in two playoff games. His six power-play goals led all players in Mestis.
Jani Nyman Scouting Report
Right Wing — shoots Left
Born July 30th, 2004 — Valkeakoski, Finland
Height 6’3.5″ — Weight 217 lbs [192 cm/98 kg]
Nyman is a very good skater. He has a powerful stride and a good first step. His acceleration and top-end speed are also very good. Once Nyman gets a step on a defender, he is able to speed up and create separation. His strength and balance allow him to fight through checks and to drive hard to the net. Nyman also has excellent edge work and agility. This makes him very deceptive. His changes of direction and lateral movement allow him to slip away from defenders and find open ice with and without the puck. He is strong on his skates and able to win battles in the corners and in front of the net.
Nyman is a pure sniper. He has an outstanding array of shots and loves to use them. Nyman gets great power and accuracy on his shots. He can score with his powerful wrist shot, snap shot, slap shot, and one-timer. His release is also lightning quick and he has the ability to vary the release point to fool goaltenders. Nyman loves to shoot the puck and will do so from anywhere on the ice. He has a knack for finding the soft spots in the defence and getting open for a pass from a teammate. Nyman is particularly lethal when taking a shot from the right face-off circle. He can also score in tight to the net, with his soft hands helping him to elevate the puck while close to the goalie.
While mainly a shooter, Nyman can also play the role of playmaker. He sees the ice well and reads the play, anticipating his linemates getting open and feathering them a pass through tight passing lanes. He has very good hands. Nyman can make plays on the rush and through the neutral zone while moving at top speed. He is able to weave through the neutral zone and generate effective zone entries. In the cycle game, Nyman uses his size and long reach to protect the puck and extend time in the offensive zone. Nyman could stand to use his size better at forechecking and winning battles on the boards though.
The biggest issue with Nyman is his defensive game. His lack of effort without the puck will drive professional coaches crazy. Nyman just seems disinterested in playing without the puck. He gets caught puck-watching in his own end of the ice, waiting for a turnover and then flying the zone looking to create offence. He loses his man, leading to easy passes for scoring chances against. Nyman should be able to use his size and frame to win battles on the boards and to compete in one-on-one situations, but the instances of him doing so are few and far between. Even when he does get engaged in the play, his awareness just isn’t good enough at this point. There is just no way to sugarcoat this, we’ve been scouting the draft since 2012, and there are few draft prospects who need as much work as Nyman does.
Projection and Comparison
Nyman is the classic boom or bust prospect. He has the size and skating necessary to be an NHL player. Add in his shot and skills and he could be a potential top-six forward if he develops. However, the lack of any semblance of a defensive game could hold him back from ever making the NHL. He is a project at this point and will need several years to round out his game. Expect him to stay in Finland and play in the SM Liiga for Ilves next season. It is unlikely he could be a bottom-six forward in the NHL unless a team looks at him as a power-play specialist, a role that no NHL teams are really using right now. His game is reminiscent of Mike Hoffman. This is a stylistic comparison only though and is not based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Jani Nyman that are available on youtube and Twitter.
Finland is finally on the board with over four minutes to go.
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) April 30, 2022
I'm enjoying watching Jani Nyman. Leans on his edges. Good crossovers to get him moving in the defensive zone.
In the offensive zone, he extends the puck out in front him when skating in between two attackers before scoring in the slot. Nyman's puck control is 🔥.#2022NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/THGQwX7hkI
— Josh Tessler 🇺🇦 (@JoshTessler_) January 16, 2022
Topi Rönni (2022) finds a tight passing lane for Jani Nyman (2022).
Nyman struggles with his first pass attempt, but connects with Rönni the second time. Rönni burns Ivanov before he can react to the puck movement.#2022NHLDraft | #HlinkaGretzky pic.twitter.com/28xf6qYPQa
— Josh Tessler 🇺🇦 (@JoshTessler_) August 2, 2021
— Lassi Alanen (@lassialanen) April 23, 2022
— Lassi Alanen (@lassialanen) April 24, 2022
Jani Nyman 🚨 scored his fifth goal of the Mestis season on Tuesday with an excellent snipe. The 17-year-old forward leads KOOVEE in scoring and the coaching staff trusts him – Nyman is averaging over 20 minutes of ice-time per game. #2022NHLDraft #KOOVEE #Mestis #Ilves pic.twitter.com/iXx3GX2HOi
— Finnish Jr Hockey (@FINjrhockey) November 17, 2021
Jani Nyman (2022) with a nice stick lift in the offensive zone and Topi Rönni (2022) applies the finishing touches with some real nice hands in tight. 2-0 Finland #5Nations #2022NHLDraft pic.twitter.com/q3qbq1YTEI
— Spoked Z (@SpokedZ) November 10, 2021
Jani Nyman scored one goal in a 3-2 OT loss to SaPKo, extending his point streak to six games in Mestis. Remember the name, he's a very talented, hard-working forward and will be a high pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. pic.twitter.com/3W3XpEFsRY
— Finnish Jr Hockey (@FINjrhockey) November 18, 2021
— Lassi Alanen (@lassialanen) August 7, 2021
— Steven Ellis (@StevenEllisTHN) April 23, 2022
Check back later for our next NHL Draft article.
Jani Nyman Scouting Report Main Photo:
New post is up on the site.
— Finnish Jr Hockey (@FINjrhockey) January 5, 2022