The LA Kings seventh-round pick in 2020, Aatu Jamsen is putting together a strong season over in Finland.
I don’t think a lot of people were expecting Aatu Jamsen to be drafted in the NHL. Coming from the U18-SM-Sarja, Jamsen was a player that was unranked by the NHL central scouting. The skilled winger scored 21 goals and added 26 assists in 24 U18 games that year. After a very impressive season, the LA Kings decided to take a chance on Jamsen with their 7th round pick.
The majority of us were a bit surprised about this pick, but we all knew that Jamsen would be a long-term project. At 6-foot-1,154 pounds, Jamsen was clearly not ready to make the jump from U18 to pro, so he played the entire season in the U20 SM-sarja with the U20 Pelicans. Aatu dominated the U20 with 56 points in 36 games, finishing second in points. Outscoring a lot of top NHL prospects, Jamsen earned a spot on the U20 SM-sarja second All-Star teams.
Jamsen started this year in the U20, where he was dominant, collecting 13 points in 7 games. He quickly earned a call up to the Pelicans’ first team and made his pro debut in the Liiga. In seven games, he scored a beautiful goal and added two assists. Surprisingly Jamsen was loaned to a Mestis (2nd Finland pro division) club before getting sent back to the U20 SM-sarja. I expect him to stay in junior for some time before probably ending the season with the Pelicans.
Eka matsi, eka maali💪
— Lahden Pelicans (@PelicansFi) September 15, 2021
Jamsen’s development is awesome; he seems to be getting better and better every game. His ability to set up teammates and create dangerous scoring chances makes him a valuable player. Jamsen’s progression gives us hope to see him with the kings one day, even if he still has a long way to go.
Jamsen played in 3 exhibition games with the Finland U20 squad in preparation for the 2022 World Junior Championship. He will be fighting to gain a spot in a talented Finland team. If Jamsen can crack the lineup, he would gain a lot of respect in the NHL and could start to make a name for himself. It’s going to be interesting to see what Jamsen will do in the next couple of years as a lot of options would be available for him.
Would he stay in the Pelicans’ system, playing a limited role in one of the top men’s leagues in the world? Or would he join the LA Kings organizations to make a better transition in North America?
Personally, I would like to see him continue his development in Finland for 1 or 2 years, and when he is ready, the Kings could possibly bring him to their AHL or ECHL, trying to make him an NHLer one day.