The Florida Panthers have acquired defenseman Olli Juolevi from the Vancouver Canucks in exchange for forward Juho Lammikko and defender Noah Juulsen.
The Canucks were criticized immediately for selecting Juolevi fifth overall in 2016 over the guy who went next, Matthew Tkachuk. Juolevi has been incredibly disappointing in his NHL career, although he has never been given consistent playing time. He made his NHL debut in the bubble last year, and his regular season debut this year, spending all season with the NHL team. However, Juolevi only played in about half of the team’s games. He is still young and has talent, so there is a reason for the Panthers to take a flyer on him. Florida was able to unearth talent in Carter Verhaeghe, Sam Bennett, and Brandon Montour last season. They hope that Juolevi can be next.
Juolevi, 23, scored two goals with an assist, as well as 30 blocked shots and 23 hits in 23 games for Vancouver last season. In 2019-20 for the AHL’s Utica Comets, Juolevi scored twice with 23 assists for 25 points in 45 games.
For the sole purpose of making the team better at this moment, the Canucks accomplish that goal. They were not planning on using Juolevi, and they need forward depth. Lammikko was a third round pick back in 2014 who for years in the AHL, then Finland, then Russia. He found a role as a bottom-six wing for the Panthers over the last two seasons, although he did not exactly light it up. Juulsen is a former first-rounder himself. The Panthers claimed him off waivers a season ago. He played less than Juolevi last year and has less upside, but Juulsen can take the same spot on the depth chart.
Lammikko, 25, scored four goals with an assist in 44 games for the Panthers last season. In his NHL career, all for Florida, he has scored four goals with seven assists for 11 points in 84 games.
Juulsen, 24, had no points in four NHL games and an assist in five AHL games last season. In his NHL career for the Panthers and Montreal Canadiens Juulsen has scored two goals with six assists for eight points in 48 games.