Welcome to the no. 18 of our Top 25 Under 25 countdown here at The Cannon! Thanks to the more than 120 of you who participated in our reader poll. Throughout the month of August, we’ll reveal a new player each weekday based on your ranking.
#18 Markus Hännikäinen
18th out of 55 eligible players (661 points)
Highest placement: #1 (1 ballot)
Most common placement: #19 (6)
Birthdate: March 26, 1993
Birthplace: Helsinki, Finland
Weight: 200 lbs
Position: Left Wing
Acquired: Signed by Columbus as Free Agent, April 20, 2015
Markus Hännikäinen enters his fourth NHL season in 2018-19. Last year he played his most games to date (33) and scored his most points (six—three goals, three assists). He did not see any playoff action.
Hännikäinen scored four of his six points in a four-game stretch last November (2—2) —consecutive games against the Panthers and Lightning, and added an assist against the Hurricanes.
Entering the upcoming 2018-19 season, Hännikäinen is in the final season of his two-year, $1,350,000 contract signed prior to the 2017-18 season. He will make $700,000 with a $675,000 cap hit.
No longer waiver exempt, Hännikäinen is one of those forwards potentially playing for his roster spot early in camp. He played eight games in Cleveland last season, adding three assists. Touted prospect Vitaly Abramov will be among those trying to make the team out of camp.
What’s your prediction?