Kristian Nakyva

Kristian Nakyva


Helsinki Finland

Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:








Signed as free agent, 2015


200 lbs.

<<<<<<< Updated upstream

2008-09: Kristian Nakyva made his SM-Liiga debut, playing in eight games for Espoo Blues and registering two assists. He was the captain of the champion Espoo Blues junior A club and appeared with Team Finland’s World Junior squad during its Mestis schedule and in pre-tournament exhibitions. Nakyva scored 8 goals with 17 assists and 28 penalty minutes in 37 regular season games for the Espoo junior team. He scored 3 goals with 3 assists and 2 penalty minutes in 8 playoff games. In nine Mestis games with the Finland U20 team he was +2 with no points and 2 penalty minutes. Nakyva was ranked 28th amongst International skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings but was not selected in the 2009 NHL Draft. 

2009-10: Nakyva played 12 games at the men’s level in Finland, skating for Espoo Blues in the SM-Liiga and TuTo in Mestis. He was one of the top defensemen in the Finland A junior league and skated for the Finland U20 team in the 2010 World Junior Championship. He was -4 with no points and 4 penalty minutes in seven SM-Liiga games for Espoo. Nakyva was -2 with no points or penalties in five Mestis games with TuTo. He scored 9 goals with 12 assists and was +1 with 56 penalty minutes in 25 games for the Espoo Blues junior team. Nakyva had 1 assist and was -1 with 2 penalty minutes in six games for Finland at the WJC. 

2010-11: Nakyva appeared in 16 SM-Liiga games with Espoo Blues and played 21 games in Mestis on loan to two clubs. He played a key role for the silver medal-winning Espoo U20 team as an overage 20-year-old during the A Juniors playoffs. Nakyva had 1 assist and was -3 with 8 penalty minutes in 16 regular season SM-Liiga games. Loaned to Jukurit and Kiekko-Vantaa during the Mestis regular season, he had 9 assists and was +16 with 14 penalties between the two squads. Nakyva scored 3 goals with 2 assists and was -1 with 14 penalty minutes in 11 regular season games for the Espoo Blues U20 team and scored 2 goals with 12 assists,  finishing +7 with 6 penalty minutes, in 13 playoff games. Nakyva signed an SM-Liiga contract with JyP Jyvaskyla in May 2011. 

2011-12: Nakyva had a productive first full season in the SM-Liiga as JyP Jyvaskyla captured the Kanada Cup championship. He appeared in 55 regular season games, scoring 7 goals with 16 assists, and was +4 with 20 penalty minutes. JyP, after finishing fourth in the regular season, defeated Assat Pori and Jokerit to reach the finals and topped third-place Lahti Pelicans in five games in the championship series. Nakyva had 5 assists and was +10 with 4 penalty minutes in 13 playoff games. He played two games with JyP-Akatemia in Mestis, scoring 2 goals with 1 assist and finishing +3 with 2 penalty minutes. 

2012-13: Nakyva was the leading scorer amongst defensemen for JyP in his second season in Jyvaskyla and played for Finland’s men’s team in the Europe Hockey Tournament. He scored 6 goals with 22 assists in 59 regular season games. Nakyva had the club’s second best plus/minus (+9), trailing only veteran Mikko Kalteva (+22) and had 52 penalty minutes. JyP finished third in the regular season and lost to fourth-place Assat Pori in the playoff semifinals; defeating Lukko Rauma 2-0 in the bronze medal game. Nakyva scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was +8 with 6 penalty minutes in 11 playoff games. He was -3 with 1 assist and no penalties in three games for Team Finland. 

2013-14: Nakyva skated in 57 of 60 regular season games for JyP in the re-christened Liiga in his third season in Jyvaskyla. He scored 7 goals with 19 assists and was +5 with 40 penalty minutes, averaging 21:28 minutes of ice time. JyP was fifth in the regular season before falling to SaiPa in a seven-game quarterfinal series. Nakyva scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was -1 with 2 penalty minutes in six playoff games. He played four games for Finland in Europe Trophy competition, recording 1 assist and finishing +1 with no penalty minutes. Nakyva signed a contract with Lulea in the SHL in June 2014. 

2014-15: Nakyva signed a one-year entry-level contract with Nashville in April 2015 after skating for Lulea in Sweden’s SHL. He was the second-leading scorer for Lulea behind center Chris Abbott, scoring 10 goals with a team-leading 19 assists in 55 regular season games.  Nakyva was +5 and had 42 penalty minutes, averaging 22 minutes of ice time. Lulea finished eighth in the regular season before taking second-place Frolunda to seven games in a playoff quarterfinal series. Nakyva scored 1 goal with 3 assists and was -1 with 4 penalty minutes in seven playoff games.  

Talent Analysis

Nakyva is a highly skilled offensive defenseman who showed promising offensive skills coming out of junior hockey but was light at the time and viewed as a defensive liability. He has steadily added bulk during his pro career and had his best offensive season to date playing in Sweden in 2014-15. He is a quick skater who can change direction effortlessly and is a slick passer. He must focus on his diligence and determination with regards to playing inside the play and competing all over the ice to succeed in North America. His biggest adjustment will be to the more in-your-face style offense played by North American forwards. Nakyva has the requisite skill set needed to successfully play a key role on the power play unit. 


Nakyva skated for Lulea in his first season in Sweden in 2014-15 after three successful seasons playing for JyP Jyvaskyla in his native Finland. Primarily a playmaking, skating defenseman, he has added strength since his junior days and could be an effective Torey Krug-type at the NHL level one day. Nakyva will be 25 years old in November 2016 so it remains to be seen how much upside there is to his potential.

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