Few players in the Toronto Maple Leafs system have a career progression as enigmatic as Mikko Kokkonen.
Kokkonen made his debut in the Finnish league at 15 years old and remains the youngest player in league history. By his draft year, he was a regular in the league, scoring the most points by a draft-eligible defenceman in Liiga in 17 years. When the Leafs drafted him in 2019 in the third round, it seemed like a no-brainer in terms of value at that selection.
However, his results have remained relatively stagnant in the three years since. As a result, Mikko Kokkonen falls down the TLN Top 20 Prospect Rankings for the second consecutive year, from #10 last summer to #13 in 2022.
LD | Pelicans (Liiga) | Age: 21 | 5-foot-11 | 194 lbs | Shoots: LAcquired: 2019 Draft, 84th Overall | 2021 Ranking: #10
There was a sense of optimism surrounding Mikko Kokkonen heading into the 2021-22 season.
For starters, he was coming off of a strong showing at the end of the previous year, having joined the Toronto Marlies on an amateur try-out to finish the season. There, he produced seven points in 11 games, nearly matching the 10 points he scored in 39 more games during the Finnish league season.
Combined with his posit …
Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation