Niko Snellman

Hometown:

Tampere Finland

Currently Playing In:

Europe

Birthday:

1988-03-12

Position:

C

Eligible for draft:

2006

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2006

Height:

6-3

Acquired:

4th round (105th overall), 2006

Weight:

208 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • C

History

He played in only one international tournament this season, tallying no points but 32 penalty minutes in four games in the Viking Cup. That hard-nosed play alone earned him a draft pick. Finland built its ultimate U18 team around finesse and had had problems with penalties before, so Snellman wasn’t considered for the World Championships.

Snellman had four goals and four assists for eight points as well as 74 penalty minutes in 23 games in the Finnish Jr A league in 2005-06. He was picked 41st overall in the CHL import draft by the Regina Pats and is expected to move to the WHL for the upcoming season. 

2007-08: After a less than successful season with the Regina Pats (WHL) in 2006-07, Snellman returned to Finland, playing for Ilves Tampere Jr. (FIN). In 31 games, he put up five goals and 11 assists, as well as a career-high 137 PIM.

2008-09: Snellman had an abbreviated season, appearing in 5 games with Ilves U20 team in the junior SM-liiga with no points and 8 PIMs. He was loaned to LeKi in Finland’s second division, where he scored 1 goal and earned 27 PIMs in 11 games. He earned another 4 PIMs in 2 playoff games with LeKi.

2009-10: Snellman played just 1 game with Ilves U20 team and had one assist. He spent 17 games on loan to LeKi in Finland’s second division, scoring 3 goals, 4 assists for 7 points along with 69 PIMs. He also saw his first SM-liiga action with Ilves, appearing in 11 games with 1 assist and 49 PIMs. 

Talent Analysis
Snellman is above all a human wrecking ball and agitator. He will never develop the skills to score notable numbers in the NHL, but that isn't what is wanted of him. There are plenty of players looking to make it to the show with assets like his, though. Snellman has some development ahead of him.
Future
Snellman, at present, does not have a contract in Finland, and therefore may spend this year in the AHL or ECHL.