The New York Rangers signed Finnish goal scorer Lauri Pajuniemi to his ELC in April.
“Being drafted meant so much for me. I will remember that day for the rest of my life for sure,” he told us back in June of 2020.. “The (Rangers) jersey I got at the draft means a lot to me and it’s at my parents’ home hanging on the wall.”
At 22 years-old, the winger has his sights set on the NHL. The 5th round draft pick from 2018 met with media after practice and talked about his third Development Camp.
Lauri Pajuniemi on his scoring success
“Two years ago, when I was scoring like one goal in a game, I was really happy,” he explained. “But then the Rangers scout said to me that, ‘You need to have that confidence that you want more. Every night you score one goal, you need to get another,’ and I started to think like that and the goals were coming.”
In his last two seasons, he scored 48 goals and 78 points in 97 games. Each player who leads his team in scoring wears a Golden Helmet, or “Kultainen kypärä” in Liiga. Pajuniemi was that player for TPS and it’s a huge accomplishment.
“It is a great honor and I am proud to wear it every time it is given to me,” he said in 2020. “It means a lot to players.” That season, he finished with a 0.53 goals/game average, the highest by a U21 player since 2000, edging out Kaapo Kakko who finished at 0.49 the season prior.
Speaking of Kakko, Pajuniemi told the press he knows him well.
“We are from the same city, I know him pretty good, and we practice together,” he said. Kakko also told him to work on his skating to prepare for making the transition to the pros.
As far as making the team, Pajuniemi is focused on just being the player he is and letting the coaches make the decision. He’s expected to be a top player in the AHL this season with a great chance to be called up.
Development Camp Day 8 Schedule
The New York Rangers Development Camp heads into day 8. Today’s activities are identical to yesterday with a full practice starting at 12:15 PM before we see them take on the Flyers rookies tomorrow.
Will Cuylle and Morgan Barron have impressed up front, with Lauri Pajuniemi starting to get going. On defense, Nils Lundkvist, Braden Schneider and Matthew Robertson will likely get a ton of minutes in the games this weekend.
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