Teemu Hartikainen Comparables

I've long-used the following list of NHL-bound Finns as a guide for what the future may hold for Teemu Hartikainen's NHL career.

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His mandatory military service during his 19-year old season made finding comparable seasons much more difficult, but his jump to North America for his 20-year old season gives us a few more data points to find his place on the above list.

Not all of the men on the comparables list played in North America during their 20-year old season, so I've broken the list up by league below.

First up are the four players who played in the AHL at 20:

AHL Production

GP G A P P/G
Teemu Hartikainen 66 17 25 42 0.636
Jani Rita 76 25 17 42 0.553
Ville Nieminen 74 14 22 36 0.486
Sean Bergenheim 61 15 14 29 0.475


I've written before that I believe Hartikainen's career will fall somewhere between Ville Nieminen and Jere Lehtinen and Hartikainen continues to best Nieminen's numbers at every turn.  Nieminen might sound pessimistic, but 385 games in the NHL is a nice career, especially for a 6th-round pick like Hartikainen

One interesting note is Hartikainen's AHL production at 20 compared to Mikko Koivu's AHL production at 21:


GP G A P P/G
Mikko Koivu - 21
67 20 28 48 0.716
Teemu Hartikainen - 20
66 17 25 42 0.636

 

Four of the men on the list made the jump straight to the NHL.  I've used Hartikainen's NHLE to compare him to those players:

NHL Production

GP G A P P/G
Jari Kurri 75 32 43 75 1.000
Saku Koivu 82 20 25 45 0.549
Tuomo Ruutu 82 23 21 44 0.537
Teemu Hartikainen-NHLE
82 11 13 24 0.293
Olli Jokinen 82 11 10 21 0.256


It's not as compelling as  the AHL comparisons, but he's at least clear of Jokinen.

The rest of the comparables stayed in Finland during their 20-year old season.

SM-Liiga Production

GP G A P P/G
Sami Kapanen 48 23 32 55 1.146
Jere Lehtinen 42 19 20 39 0.929
Ville Peltonen 43 16 22 38 0.884
Niklas Hagman 56 28 18 46 0.821
Jussi Jokinen 55 15 23 38 0.691
Mikko Koivu 45 6 24 30 0.667
Valtteri Filppula 55 10 20 30 0.545



Lehtinen's SM-Liiga production translates to a .502 P/G NHLE and his first season in the NHL, two years later, he posted .491 P/G.  Hartikainen's numbers translate into a .392 NHLE, meaning he's still somewhere below Lehtinen's numbers and probably closer to Niklas Hagman.  Perhaps it's time to narrow Hartikainen's upside to somewhere between Ville Nieminen and Niklas Hagman, somewhere between 385 career games and 700+ career games.  He's still on track for a beauty of a career.

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