The Top 25 Under 25 is a collaboration by members of the Die By The Blade community. It was a combination of six staff writers and over 500 readers that ranked players under the age of 25 by September 1st, 2019. Each participant used their own metric of current ability and production to rank each player.
The newest Buffalo Sabre comes in at number eight on the top 25 under 25 list.
Henri Jokiharju was acquired from the Chicago Blackhawks a little over a month ago. The Sabres traded former first round pick Alexander Nylander for him in somewhat of a blockbuster deal of up and coming NHLers.
Player: Henri Jokiharju
Acquired: 29th overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft (1st Round)
Size: 6’0” | 193 lbs.
2019-20 Team: Chicago Blackhawks/Rockford IceHogs (AHL)
2018-19 Stats: 38 GP | 0G | 12A | 12PTS (Chicago Blackhawks)
Fan Rank: 8
Staff Rank: 4
2018 Rank: N/A
Jokiharju was selected by the Blackhawks 29th overall in the 2017 NHL Draft. Prior to being drafted, he had been playing for the Portland Winterhawks of the WHL.
Last season, Jokiharju bounced between the Rockford IceHogs and the Blackhawks. In his 38 games playing for Chicago he recorded 12 points.
The biggest question surrounding Jokiharju currently is where he will slot this season in the Sabres organization. Buffalo currently has a logjam at right defense, boasting Rasmus Ristolainen, Colin Miller, Brandon Montour and Casey Nelson. This group will also include Zach Bogosian when he is healed from hip surgery.
While starting in Rochester is not the worst thing for Jokiharju, he certainly looked ready for NHL minutes while playing with Chicago last season. This issue could possibly be alleviated with Ristolainen being traded, opening up a spot for Jokiharju on the blue line.
Overall, this trade was a solid one for the Sabres. Nylander was under-performing for the organization and adding another solid right handed shot defenseman gives Buffalo a formidable right side of the defense for the foreseeable future.
#25 Miska Kukkonen
#24 Linus Weissbach
#23 Andrew Oglevie
#22 Jacob Bryson
#21 Casey Fitzgerald
#20 Marcus Davidsson
#19 Matej Pekar
#18 Ryan Johnson
#16 Oskari Laaksonen
#14 Will Borgen
#13 C.J. Smith
#12 Rasmus Asplund
#11 Tage Thompson
#10 Dylan Cozens