Thanks to everyone who voted for this year’s Top 25 Under 25 ranking. We had almost 100 submissions from Columbus Blue Jackets fans. Stay tuned as we count down the 25 highest voted players for the next month. First up: Mikael Pyyhtiä
#25: Mikael Pyyhtiä
25th out of 40 eligible players
Writer Rank: 24
Reader Rank: 25
Highest placement: 13 (1 vote)
Most common placement: 22, 23, & 25 (5 votes each)
2022 Rank: 32nd
Birthdate: December 17, 2001
Birthplace: Turku, Finland
Weight: 154 lbs
Position: Left Wing/Center
Acquired: Drafted by the Blue Jackets in Round 4 (114th overall) of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft
I’ll be perfectly honest: a year ago, I didn’t think much of Pyyhtia as a prospect. I’m sure the scouts so something they liked, but I also know it’s more likely than not that a mid-round pick won’t reach the NHL, let alone be an impact player.
In his first post-draft season, Pyyhtia scored 19 points (9/10) in 16 games for his U20 club, and that’s solid. His 7 points in 35 games in Liiga don’t jump off the page, but that’s a 19 year old playing against grown men.
This past season, Pyyhtia spent his time entirely with the senior TPS club in Liiga. He took a big step forward with 21 goals and 14 assists in 56 games, but where he really broke out was in the postseason. He put up 8 points and 5 assists in 18 games as TPS reached the finals. Those 8 goals tied three other players for the postseason lead (recent Blue Jacket signing and Laine friend Joona Luoto went 8/9/17 in 14 games for Tappara).
This summer, Pyyhtia was rewarded with a three year entry level contract from Columbus. He signed as a 21 year old so it won’t slide, and he is expected to be loaned back to TPS for the 2022-23 season. Once that season is over, he could come over right away and join either Columbus or Cleveland for the end of the season, and certainly would be in the mix for a roster spot in fall of 2023.
Three of those eight playoff goals came in a single game. Watch as he scores twice on the breakaway, and once on a deflection. He shows decent breakaway speed, and a quick wrister.