The 2011-12 SM-Liiga season was one of opportunity for several young players – as the continued exodus of top flight veterans from the Finnish national league to the KHL or North America allowed some of the top Finnish juniors to make an impact with their respective clubs.
Once again this season, the majority of the players in Finland's SM-Liiga will be career minor league imports or older, second-tier native Finnish players. However, there are several promising younger players – including a handful of teenagers that will be eligible for the NHL Draft for the first time in 2013 – who could have an impact. A handful of SM-Liiga teams are already competing in the European Trophy tournament, and if it is any indication, several new names will emerge this season.
Here is a look at the upcoming season in terms of NHL prospects on each of the 14 clubs. The number in parenthesis indicates the number of NHL-protected players in that particular club, either with the SM-Liiga team or on the A Junior (U-20) roster.