Leinonen was still scarcely known back in the 2004 offseason but broke out in 2004-05. He was strong with Kärpät Jr A and the U18 national team right from the start. He was injured in spring season which hurt him in the U18 WC, but he already had a good number of international showings behind him.
125th overall, 2005 NHL Entry Draft by Pittsburgh. Unsigned by the Penguins.
Leinonen specializes in playing both ways. Against international competition he is known to take good care of the defense zone, while in Finnish Jr A he takes more liberties and joins rushes. He is a true expert in neither shooting nor passing, but his offensive skills are easily productive enough to warrant responsibility in that area. Leinonen is an impressive skater and up to the challenges posed by forwards. His strength and toughness are average at this point, which leaves something to be desired by NHL standards.
The path further on is simple for a well-rounded player, he just needs to become better and better and he can do it either in Finland or the AHL.