2010-11: Saku Maenalanen played one game for Karpat's U18 team in Oulu and was one of the top scorer's for neighboring Laser HT's U18 team in the Finnish second division. He had no points and 2 penalty minutes in his one game with Karpat. Maenalanen played 26 games for Laser HT and scored 27 goals with 38 assists and 20 penalty minutes. Laser HT won the second division championship.
2011-12: Maenalanen was the leading scorer for Karpat's U18 team. He scored 15 goals with a team-high 36 assists and 76 penalty minutes in 44 games. In nine playoff games he scored 7 goals with 3 assists and had 2 penalty minutes.
2012-13: Maenalanen was the second-leading scorer in Finnish A juniors and represented Finland in U20 and U18 international play. He scored 23 goals and led Finland's A junior league with 35 assists in 45 games and was +19 with 43 penalty minutes. Maenalanen scored 5 goals with 2 assists and was +1 with 18 penalty minutes in five playoff games. He skated in 10 games for the Finnish U20 and U18 teams and scored 4 goals with 1 assist. Maenalanen was ranked 130th amongst European skaters in Central Scouting's final rankings and was selected by Nashville in the fifth round (125th overall) of the 2013 NHL Draft.
Maenalanen has been one of the best players in the Finnish junior levels for a few years now and there is no question why. He plays a very strong puck possession game to go along with his 6’3 frame. He also blends his strong board and possession game with a creative and offensively impressive set of skills. His skating is also a plus attribute while his agility and top speed are good for a player of his size. He is an all-around talent and will require a little bit of time to refine all aspects of it. He certainly has all the skills you want in an NHL player.
The young Finn could stay in his native country for a few years while he builds up his strength and matures a little bit, but all signs point to being a hit with North American hockey. His style will transition well and whenever he makes his way over, he will likely be an instant impact player.