Sami Niku

Hometown:

Haapavesi Finland

Currently Playing In:

Europe

Birthday:

1996-10-10

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2015

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2015

Height:

6-0

Acquired:

7th round (198th overall), 2015

Weight:

176 lbs.

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History

2011-12: Sami Niku played for the JyP Jyvaskyla club in Finland, splitting the season between the U18 and U16 teams. He made his first international appearance — skating in one game with the Finland U16 team. He scored 1 goal with 1 assist and no penalties in 17 games for the JyP U18 team. Niku was +1 with no points nor penalties playing for Finland. 

2012-13: Niku skated in Finland’s U20 league as a 16-year-old — skating in 30 regular season games and six playoff games for the JyP A juniors team — and played for the Finland U17 team at the 2013 World Hockey Challenge and the Europe Youth Olympic Festival. Niku had 8 assists and was -3 with 22 penalty minutes during the regular season for JyP. Ninth in the regular season, JyP advanced to the playoff quarterfinals. Niku had no points and was -3 with 2 penalty minutes in six playoff games. He scored 1 goal with 1 assist and  4 penalty minutes in five games for Finland at the WHC. Finland defeated Canada Atlantic, 8-2, in the seventh-place game. Niku had 1 assist and was +7 with 2 penalty minutes in three games as Finland won a gold medal at the EYOF. 

2013-14: Niku skated for the Finland U18 team in the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Tournament in August before returning to Jyvaskyla — splitting the season between JyP Akatemia in Mestis (Finland’s second league) and the JyP U20 team. He finished the year playing with the Finland U18 team that hosted the 2014 World Junior Championship. Niku had 3 assists and was +2 with 16 penalty minutes in 30 regular season Mestis games. JyP-Akatemia finished ninth, four points behind Kiekko-Vantaa for the final playoff spot. Niku played 20 games for the JyP U20 team, scoring 4 goals with 10 assists, and was +1 with 20 penalty minutes. JyP was 14th in the 16-team A junior league, missing the playoffs. Niku scored 1 goal with 1 assist and was -1 with 4 penalty minutes in four games for Finland at the Ivan Hlinka tournament. He scored 1 goal and was -3 with no penalty minutes in five games at the WJC. Finland finished sixth, suffering a 10-0 loss to Sweden in the quarterfinals. 

2014-15: Niku made his Liiga debut with JyP in September after playing for the Finland U20 team during the summer evaluation camp in Lake Placid. He played 12 games with JyP before being returned to JyP-Akatemia in November and played for the Finland U20 team at the 2015 World Juniors. Niku had 1 assist and was +1 with 6 penalty minutes in Liiga play.  He scored 3 goals with 22 assists and was +8 with 24 penalty minutes playing for JyP-Akatemia. The club finished fifth in Mestis, falling to Hokki in the playoff quarterfinals. Niku had 5 assists and was +2 with 4 penalty minutes in six playoff games. In five games for Finland at the WJC he was +2 with no points nor penalties. Finland struggled to score goals during the tournament, finishing seventh after a 6-3 loss to Sweden in the quarterfinals. Niku was ranked 56th amongst international skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Winnipeg in the seventh round (198th overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft.  

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