Drafted by Buffalo Sabres in 2017 #89
- 2018-12-29 at Finland - Slovakia, WJC by Markus Suhonen
Laaksonen was paired with Boston Bruins prospect Urho Vaakanainen in a preliminary round game against Slovakia. Laaksonen was solid throughout the game and showed that his offensive and defensive capabilities are well-rounded.
The Finn started on the second power play unit operating as the PP’s only defenseman. Laaksonen didn’t make many errors but his failed pass on the blueline led to a turnover that almost gave one goal lead to Slovakia.
At the start of the game, Laaksonen tried to make safe plays but as the game progressed he looked poised with the puck in the defensive zone as well as on the blueline. The Finn didn’t generate a lot of scoring chances with his passing play but he was eager to shoot the puck from the blueline.
Laaksonen flashed his offensive instincts by joining the rush occasionally. Laaksonen builds his game on a fine combination of defensive and offensive abilities. His skating is smooth and there’s explosiveness to it.
The 19-year-old recognized when to carry the puck and when to make a simple pass. Overall, he was adjusting well to a smaller rink. Laaksonen got his first goal of the tournament with a huge one-timer, which showed his sparkling confidence in the offensive zone.
- 2018-11-24 at Ilves - KalPa, Liiga by Jokke Nevalainen
Laaksonen played on the top pair for Ilves, and he played on the blue line on one of their power play units. He didn’t get any points but did a good job moving the puck and joining rushes. He did make one costly mistake, though, when he made a bad decision with the puck when pressured, and the opposing team scored from the mistake. He also missed the end of the game when he got 2+10 minutes for a hit to the head. All in all, it wasn’t his best game.
- 2018-09-22 at Lukko - Ilves, Liiga by Miika Arponen
Laaksonen continued his strong start of the season in Ilves’ first pairing. He failed to score a point, but was constantly joining the rush and recorded five shots on goal.
His confidence is still sky-high and he is not afraid of trying bold moves with the puck. He skating looks very smooth and easy and he has both very good top speed and skill.
Even though he is still a bit lightweight in physical battles, he has improved from last season and was not outmuscled constantly like he sometimes was last season. His gap control is excellent, as he can keep up with even the fastest forwards with his skating.
- 2018-03-02 at Ilves - Tappara, Liiga by Miika Arponen
Laaksonen played the biggest minutes of his pro career so far with 22:01 of ice time against Tappara. He manned the point in the power-play and got to play on the overtime with the two top forwards of the team.
His skating, which was already impressive, seems to be getting better all the time. Laaksonen brought the puck out of his own zone multiple times with his skating and stick-handled his way to the opposing end a few times. He plays a very poised game.
The defenceman’s gap control is excellent. He can keep up with even the fastest forwards in the league, and reacts quickly to turnarounds and changes of pace.
Ilves head coach Karri Kivi on Laaksonen after the game: “He is not fazed by anything. He plays like in a street hockey game. He has same qualities than all the modern top D prospects do, and he doesn’t have any problems in the own end either.”
- 2018-01-09 at Ilves - HPK, Liiga by Miika Arponen
Laaksonen made his debut in the pro ranks as the 7th D-man of Ilves. He got 7.29 of ice time and played a total on nine shifts, including two in the power-play.
Despite playing the odd shift, Laaksonen had a solid game. His skating was very smooth and agile and his first strides seemed to be quite powerful. He also read the play well and positioned himself nicely in all situations.
He played the point in the power-play with a great poise and showed both good hands and great lateral movement at the blueline. His passes were crisp and he even recorded a secondary assist on the power-play.
Laaksonen is still a little bit lightweight, but he didn’t shy away from contacts and wasn’t thrown around near the boards either. He mainly relied on his stick and positioning as far as he could.
- 2017-09-02 at Ilves - Jokerit, A-SM by Miika Arponen
Buffalo Sabres’ third round draft pick played a twofold game. He showed offensive potential several times when he started attacks with crisp passes. He also joined the rush a few times and was even the first player to drive to the net a couple of times.
In the own end his game wasn’t so good. Laaksonen lost quite a few battles near the boards and in front of the net. He was also a bit negligent and his passes were intercepted near their own goal.
Articles about Oskari Laaksonen
Player statistics powered by www.eliteprospects.com
|2014-2015||Ilves U16||Jr. C SM-sarja Q||7||0||1||1||8||||
|Ilves U16||Jr. C SM-sarja||30||1||7||8||14||||
|2015-2016||Ilves U18||Jr. B SM-sarja||48||7||18||25||16|||||Playoffs||4||1||3||4||29|
|2016-2017||Ilves U18||Jr. B SM-sarja||10||0||10||10||12|||||Playoffs||4||2||2||4||4|
|Ilves U20||Jr. A SM-liiga||27||6||3||9||14|||||Playoffs||6||1||1||2||4|
|2017-2018||Ilves U20||Jr. A SM-liiga||40||4||11||15||52||||
|Finland U20 (all)||International-Jr||6||5||1||6||4||||
|Finland U20 (all)||International-Jr||19||1||6||7||28||||
Player statistics © www.eliteprospects.com