Markus Hannikainen

Hometown:

Helsinki Finland

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1993-03-26

Position:

LW

Eligible for draft:

2011

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

Height:

6-1

Acquired:

Signed as free agent, 2015.

Weight:

190 lbs.

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History

2009-10: Markus Hannikainen skated for the Jokerit U18 team in Helsinki, Finland as a 16-year-old. He scored 14 goals with 10 assists and 8 penalty minutes in 22 regular season games. Hannikainen had 3 assists and 2 penalty minutes in four playoff games. 

2010-11: Hannikainen played for the Jokerit U20 team and skated for Finland in the 2011 U18 World Junior Championship. He scored 7 goals with 12 assists and was +4 with 12 penalty minutes in 36 regular season games and was -4 with 1 goal, 1 assist and 2 penalty minutes in nine playoff games for Jokerit. Hannikainen scored 1 goal with an even plus/minus in six games for Finland at the WJC. Finland lost 5-2 to Russia in the quarterfinals and defeated Germany, 6-0, in the fifth-place game. Hannikainen was ranked 104th amongst international skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings but was not selected in the 2011 NHL Draft. 

2011-12: Hannikainen made his pro debut — splitting the year between Jokerit in the SM-Liiga and Mestis club Kiekko-Vantaa — and played for the Finland U20 team in the 2012 World Junior Championship. He had no points and was +1 with 4 penalty minutes in 15 regular season games for Jokerit. Hannikainen scored 2 goals and was +1 with 4 penalty minutes in 10 Mestis games with Kiekko-Vantaa. He skated for Jokerit’s silver medal-winning U20 team, scoring 6 goals with 7 assists and finishing +2 with 12 penalty minutes in 16 regular season games. Jokerit reached the playoff finals against rival HIFK and in 12 playoff games Hannikainen scored 5 goals with 5 assists and was -1 with 2 penalty minutes. In seven games at the WJC for Finland he had 1 assist and was +1 with no penalties. Finland finished fourth, falling 3-2 to Sweden in a shootout in the semifinals and losing 4-0 to Canada in the bronze medal game. 

2012-13: Hannikainen appeared in 20 regular season games and one playoff contest for Jokerit, spending time in Mestis with Kiekko-Vantaa and skating for the Jokerit U20 team. He was an assistant captain for the Finland U20 team at the 2013 World Junior Championship. He had 1 assists and was -3 with 4 penalty minutes during the regular season for Jokerit and had no points nor penalties in his only SM-Liiga playoff game. Hannikainen scored 3 goals with 6 assists and was -6 with 4 penalty minutes in 21 Mestis regular season games for Kiekko-Vantaa. In 11 games for the Jokerit U20 team he scored 7 goals with 7 assists and was an even plus/minus with 4 penalty minutes. Hannikainen was an assistant captain for Finland at the WJC. He had no points and an even plus/minus with 8 penalty minutes in six games. Finland finished seventh, avoiding demotion in the relegation round. 

2013-14: Hannikainen showed glimpses of scoring potential in limited ice time with Jokerit in the re-christened Liiga. Loaned to HPK Hameenlinna for four games earlier in the year, he scored 3 goals with 3 assists (all with Jokerit) in 22 regular season Liiga games and was +6 with 6 penalty minutes. In two playoff games for Jokerit he scored 1 goal and was -2, averaging 15 minutes of ice time. Hannikainen played 15 games with Kiekko-Vantaa in Mestis. He scored 2 goals with 5 assists and was +1 with 2 penalty minutes. In eight games with the Jokerit U20 team, including four playoff games, he scored 4 goals with 3 assists and was -8 with no penalties. 

2014-15: Hannikainen had a breakout season playing for JyP Jyvaskyla after Jokerit moved to the KHL. The third-leading scorer for JyP behind veterans Eric Perrin and Jani Tuppurainen, he scored 19 goals with 27 assists in 60 regular season games and was +22 with 51 penalty minutes. JyP finished fourth in the regular season and reached the playoff semifinals, defeating Lukko Rauma 2-1 in the bronze medal game. Hannikainen scored 4 goals with 5 assists and was +4 with 6 penalty minutes in 12 playoff games. He signed a two-year entry-level contract with Columbus in April 2015.

2015-16: Hannikainen made his NHL debut with the Blue Jackets in a November 28th game against St. Louis — seeing 6:15 minutes of ice time with no points nor penalties before suffering a shoulder injury. He returned for three more games before being returned to Columbus AHL affiliate Lake Erie. Hannikainen had no points nor penalties and was -2, averaging seven minutes of ice time with the Blue Jackets. He has been a consistent two-way player and contributed offensively with Lake Erie as the Monsters secured a playoff spot.

Talent Analysis

Hannikainen was a breakout star with JYP last season, blending his unorthodox skating stride with an effective shot release. He was never much of a scorer coming up through Jokerit’s junior system, so the big season in 2014-15 was a surprise. He didn’t look out of place though, improving his shot release and accuracy. He is steadily adapting to North America. His awareness in all three zones is a strength and his offensive production is a bonus.

Future

Hannikainen is in his first season in North America in 2015-16, playing four games with the Blue Jackets and skating for Columbus AHL affiliate Lake Erie. Well-known to Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen after coming up through the Jokerit organization in Finland (where Kekalainen was the GM before coming to the Blue Jackets), he has the ideal size to be an effective wing and could produce more offense as he becomes accustomed to the NHL game.

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It would be easy to summarize the experience of Team Finland at the 2012 U20 World Junior Championship by saying the team ended the tournament the way it started – losing to Canada. To do so would be a huge injustice to the players and coaches of the team, and also not begin to tell half of the story of the Finns’ surprising and exciting run to the semifinals.
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