The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Die By The Blade community. six writers and 718 readers ranked players under the age of 25 as of September 1, 2018 in the Buffalo Sabres organization. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production against future projection to rank each player. Now, we’ll count down each of the 25 players ranked.
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen is the first goaltender to show up in the years rankings. The 2017 second-round pick recently signed his entry-level contract back in the middle of June.
The Finnish goalie also recently decided he’ll come over to North America this season. Luukkonen is going to play for the Sudbury Wolves of the OHL next season after he was selected by the junior club third overall in the CHL import draft.
Luukkonen had an up and down season last year in Finland, as well as the U20 World Junior Championship. Consistency is something we’ll look for from him this upcoming season. He has the prototypical NHL size at 6’4” and has good lateral movement in the crease.
Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen played a great game for Finland today vs USA. Looked very calm and composed in there. Here are the highlights of his performance. @Sudbury_Wolves #OHL #WJSS #Sabres pic.twitter.com/BPU6pdSNQp— Dave (@MGOBlue_25) August 3, 2018
He’s off to a good start this season with a strong start against Team USA in the World Junior Showcase last week.
He has the skill set to have a future in the NHL, but goaltenders take a few years to develop. Along with Linus Ullmark, the big goalkeeper is an important part of the future in goal for the Buffalo Sabres.