Jani Hakanpaa
Image: Espoo Blues

Jani Hakanpaa

Hometown:

Kirkkonummi Finland

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1992-03-31

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2010

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

2010

Height:

6-4

Acquired:

4th round (104th overall), 2010

Weight:

218 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • B

History

2008-09: Jani Hakanpaa played for the Kiekko-Vantaa U-18 club in the Junior “B” I division.  In 9 games, he scored 2 goals and added 4 assists for 6 points.

2009-10: Hakanpaa played for the Kiekko-Vantaa team U-18 team at the Junior “B” SM level.  In 23 games, Hakanpaa scored 2 goals and added 12 assists for 14 points.  Hakanpaa played for Finland’s U-18 WJC team..  He was a Top-3 Player on Team (according to coaches). Hakapnaa played on the first unit on the U-18 team.  In 6 games, he scored 1 goal and added 1 assist for 2 points.

2010-11: Hakanpaa made great strides playing for Espoo Blues’ junior team in his first season at the U20 level. He scored 3 goals with 20 assists and 61 PMs in 36 games. In 12 playoff games he had 3 goals with 2 assists and 10 PMs as Blues captured the silver medal at the U20 level.

2011-12: Hakanpaa enjoyed a successful rookie season in Finland’s SM-Liiga before suffering a season-ending knee injury in February. He was also impressive playing for Finland at the 2012 U20 World Junior Championship. Hakanpaa was plus-6 with 30 penalty minutes in 41 games for Espoo Blues and scored 5 goals with 7 assists. Espoo finished eighth in the 14-team league. He was an assistant captain for fourth-place Finland at the WJC and was plus-3 with 1 goal and 2 assists in seven games. He also appeared in five early season games for Espoo’s U20 team and was plus-three with 4 assists. Hakanpaa signed a three-year entry-level contract with St. Louis in May, 2012.

2012-13: Hakanpaa made his North American pro hockey debut in March, joining St. Louis AHL affiliate Peoria following his SM-Liiga season with Espoo. In 14 AHL games he scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was an even plus/minus with 6 penalty minutes. The Rivermen missed the AHL playoffs after finishing last in the Midwest Division. Hakanpaa played 34 games for Espoo, missing five weeks after suffering an upper body injury in November. He scored 2 goals with 3 assists and was plus-2 with 34 penalty minutes. Blues missed the SM-Liiga playoffs; finishing 12th in the 14-team SM-Liiga.

2013-14: Hakanpaa skated for the St. Louis Blues’ rookie team in the Traverse City Tournament and played for Blues AHL affiliate Chicago in his first pro season in North America. A healthy scratch at times early in the year, he scored 4 goals with 4 assists and was plus-20 with 33 penalty minutes in 54 regular season games. The Wolves finished first in the Midwest Division and advanced to the second round in the playoffs. Hakanpaa skated in three playoff games and was plus-1 with 1 assist. 

Talent Analysis

Hakanpaa brings a very gritty and hard-nosed style of play to the blueline and plays a sound defensive game. A bit limited in terms of his offensive game, he has a massive frame and can throw the body with the best of them. While he skates fairly well for a player his size, it is an area that could be improved.

Future

Hakanpaa attended training camp with the Blues before being assigned to AHL affiliate Chicago to start the 2014-15 season. Now in the third year of his original three-year contract, Hakanpaa has struggled to find ice time on a crowded blueline with the Wolves and briefly spent time with the ECHL's Quad City Mallards before being recalled by Chicago. While his overall game continues to be a work in progress, and there are several prospects ahead of him in the Blues' organization at this point, his size and demeanor suggest Hakanpaa can be a solid two-way defenseman at the NHL level one day.

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