Finland’s World Junior Team – Goalies and Defense

We are all excited about the annual holiday premier hockey tournament, so much so that the announcement for the list of players invited to the selection camp to decide who will play in the 2018 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship that will take place in Buffalo, New York starting on December 26th. Finland is a team who won gold at the 2016 tournament but fell all the way to the Relegation round a year later thanks to a disastrous round robin.

Today, we look at the goaltenders and defensemen who were named to the selection camp. It’s a very strong group on the backend, with all 9 defensemen picked in the first 4 rounds of the NHL draft while also having large resumes of international play with Finland’s youth teams. This Finland team will be closer to the 2016 Gold winning club than the team that almost lost to Latvia in the Relegation round.

GOALTENDERS:

NIILO HALONEN
6’2/165
July 15th/1998
NHL Rights: None

2017-2018 Team:
HIFK U20 (Jr. A SM-Liiga) – 26GP – 0.915SV%
SaPKo (Mestis) – 2GP – 3.00GAA – 0.887SV%

Previous International Experience:
2013-2014: U-16 – 1GP – 2.77GAA – 0.906SV%
2014-2015: U-17 – 3GP – 3.44GAA – 0.839SV%
2015-2016: U-18 – 1GP – 2.00GAA – 0.923SV% (Hlinka Memorial)
2016-2017: U-20 – 6GP – 0.901SV%*
2017-2018: U-20 – 1GP – 0.875SV%

*Did not make Finland’s 2017 World Junior team

LASSI LEHTINEN
6’0/170
February 25th/1999
NHL Rights: None

2017-2018 Team:
KeuPa HT (Mestis) – 10GP – 2.20GAA – 0.915SV%

Previous International Experience:
2014-2015: U-16 – 3GP – 4.01GAA – 0.878SV%
2015-2016: U-17 – 4GP – 3.21GAA – 0.886SV% (WHC-17)
2016-2017: U-18 – 1GP – 2.00GAA – 0.875SV% (WJC-18)
2016-2017: U-18 – 9GP – 2.91GAA – 0.901SV%
2016-2017: U-18 – 2GP – 3.37GAA – 0.885SV% (Hlinka Memorial)
2017-2018: U-20 – 1GP – 0.875SV%

IMG_5978.jpeg

UKKO-PEKKA LUUKKONEN
6’4/196
March 9th/1999
NHL Rights: BUF (2nd Round/54th Overall/2017)

2017-2018 Team:
LeKi (Mestis) – 16GP – 2.88GAA – 0.912SV%

Previous International Experience:
2014-2015: U-16 – 3GP – 3.65SV%
2015-2016: U-17 – 1GP – 3.00GAA – 0.903SV%
2015-2016: U-18 – 3GP – 2.00GAA – 0.917SV% (WJC-18)
2016-2017: U-18 – 6GP – 2.90GAA – 0.899SV% (WJC-18)
2016-2017: U-18 – 13GP – 3.63GAA – 0.890SV%
2016-2017: U-18 – 2GP – 4.58GAA – 0.850SV% (Hlinka Memorial)
2017-2018: U-20 – 3GP – 0.935SV%

 

DEFENSEMEN:

MIRO HEISKANEN
6’0/170
July 18th/1999
NHL Rights: DAL (1st Round/3rd Overall/2017)

2017/2018 Team:
HIFK (Liiga) – 18GP – 9G – 4A – 13PTS – 6PIMS – +8

Previous International Experience:
2014-2015: U-16 – 11GP – 0G – 0A – 0PTS – 0PIMS – -1
2015-2016: U-17 – 5GP – 0G – 4A – 4PTS – 2PIMS (WHC-17)
2015-2016: U-18 – 7GP – 0G – 1A – 1PTS – 0PIMS – +2 (WJC-18)
2016-2017: U-18 – 7GP – 2G – 10A – 12PTS – 0PIMS – +8
2016-2017: U-20 – 6GP – 0G – 1A – 1PTS – 0PIMS – -2 (WJC-20)
2016-2017: U-20 – 15GP – 0G – 3A – 3PTS – 0PIMS – +3 (Rest of Games)
2017-2018: Mens – 3GP – 2G – 0A – 2PTS – 0PIMS – EVEN (Euro Hockey Tour)

HENRI JOKIHARJU
6’0/181
June 17th/1999
NHL Rights: CHI (1st Round/29th Overall/2017)

2017-2018 Team:
Portland Winterhawks (WHL) – 28GP – 7G – 28A – 35PTS – 6PIMS – +27

Previous International Experience:
2014-2015: U-16 – 8GP – 1G – 6A – 7PTS – 2PIMS – EVEN
2014-2015: U-18 – 1GP – 0G – 0A – 0PTS – 0PIMS – EVEN
2015-2016: U-17 – 5GP – 1G – 0A – 1PTS – 2PIMS (WHC-17)
2015-2016: U-18 – 7GP – 0G – 3A – 3PTS – 10PIMS – +3 (WJC-18)
2015-2016: U-18 – 5GP – 0G – 2A – 2PTS – 0PIMS – +2 (Hlinka Memorial)
2016-2017: U-20 – 7GP – 0G – 1A – 1PTS – 0PIMS – +3*

*He did not make Finland’s World Junior Team in 2017

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OLLI JUOLEVI
6’3/198
May 5th/1998
NHL Rights: VAN (1st Round/5th Overall/2016)

2017-2018 Team:
TPS (Liiga) – 18GP – 5G – 8A – 13PTS – 12PIMS – +6

Previous International Experience:
2013-2014: U-16 – 2GP – 0G – 1A – 1PTS – 0PIMS – +1
2013-2014: U-17 – 10GP – 1G – 4A – 5PTS – 10PIMS – EVEN
2014-2015: U-17 – 3GP – 1G – 1A – 2PTS – 0PIMS – +1
2014-2015: U-18 – 15GP – 3G – 4A – 7PTS – 20PIMS – -1
2014-2015: U-18 – 4GP – 0G – 1A – 1PTS – 4PIMS – +2 (Hlinka Memorial)
2015-2016: U-20 – 7GP – 0G – 9A – 9PTS – 4PIMS – +6 (WJC-20)
2016-2017: U-20 – 6GP – 0G – 2A – 2PTS – 0PIMS – -2 (WJC-20)
2016-2017: U-20 – 3GP – 0G – 2A – 2PTS – 2PIMS – +1 (Rest of Games)
2017-2018: U-20 – 3GP – 0G – 0A – 0PTS – 2PIMS

KASPER KOTSANSALO
6’2/198
November 16th/1998
NHL Rights: DET (3rd Round/71st Overall/2017)

2017-2018 Team:
Boston University (NCAA) – 17GP – 1G – 3A – 4PTS – 8PIMS – +7

Previous International Experience:
2013-2014: U-16 – 5GP – 0G – 3A – 3PTS – 0PIMS – -1
2014-2015: U-17 – 6GP – 2G – 2A – 4PTS – 10PIMS – +2
2015-2016: U-18 – 6GP – 0G – 4A – 4PTS – 0PIMS – +5 (WJC-18)
2015-2016: U-18 – 5GP – 0G – 0A – 0PTS – 4PIMS – +2 (Hlinka Memorial)
2016-2017: U-20 – 13GP – 2G – 4A – 6PTS – 8PIMS – EVEN*
2017-2018: U-20 – 5GP – 2G – 1A – 3PTS – 2PIMS

*He did not make Finland’s World Junior Team in 2017

ROOPE LAAVAINEN
6’2/201
August 23rd/1998
NHL Rights: CHI (4th Round/119th Overall/2017)

2017-2018 Team:
LeKi (Mestis) – 4GP – 0G – 0A – 0PTS – 2PIMS – -1
HPK (Liiga) – 22GP – 0G – 1A – 1PTS – 31PIMS – -6

Previous International Experience:
2014-2015: U-17 – 6GP – 0G – 0A – 0PTS – 2PIMS – -3
2016-2017: U-20 – 11GP – 2G – 2A – 4PTS – 4PIMS – +7*

*He did not make Finland’s World Junior Team in 2017

EEMELI RASANEN
6’7/209
March 6th/1999
NHL Rights: TOR (2nd Round/59th Overall/2017)

2017-2018 Team:
Kingston Frontenacs (OHL) – 26GP – 3G – 18A – 21PTS – 28PIMS – +12

Previous International Experience:
2014-2015: U-16 – 8GP – 0G – 2A – 2PTS – 4PIMS – +3
2015-2016: U-17 – 5GP – 0G – 0A – 0PTS – 2PIMS (WHC-17)
2016-2017: U-18 – 6GP – 1G – 0A – 1PTS – 2PIMS – EVEN (WJC-18)
2016-2017: U-18 – 4GP – 0G – 1A – 1PTS – 2PIMS – +2 (Hlinka Memorial)
2017-2018: U-20 – 2GP – 0G – 0A – 0PTS – 4PIMS

ROBIN SALO
6’1/187
October 13th/1998
NHL Rights: NYI (2nd Round/46th Overall/2017)

2017-2018 Team:
Sport (Liiga) – 24GP – 0G – 3A – 3PTS – 4PIMS – -9

Previous International Experience:
2013-2014: U-16 – 4GP – 0G – 1A – 1PTS – 2PIMS
2014-2015: U-17 – 6GP – 0G – 0A – 0PTS – 0PIMS (WHC-17)
2014-2015: U-18 – 7GP – 0G – 0A – 0PTS – 0PIMS – EVEN (WJC-18)
2015-2016: U-18 – 7GP – 1G – 0A – 1PTS – 2PIMS – EVEN (WJC-18)
2015-2016: U-18 – 5GP – 2G – 0A – 2PTS – 2PIMS – +4 (Hlinka Memorial)
2015-2016: U-20 – 4GP – 1G – 0A – 1PTS – 0PIMS – +3*
2016-2017: U-20 – 11GP – 0G – 1A – 1PTS – 10PIMS – EVEN*
2017-2018: U-20 – 1GP – 0G – 0A – 0PTS – 0PIMS

*He did not make Finland’s World Junior Team in 2016 or 2017

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URHO VAAKANAINEN
6’1/185
January 1st/1999
NHL Rights: BOS (1st Round/18th Overall/2017)

2017-2018 Team:
SaiPa (Liiga) – 20GP – 0G – 3A – 3PTS – 6PIMS – +6

Previous International Experience:
2014-2015: U-17 – 6GP – 0G – 1A – 1PTS – 2PIMS (WHC-17)
2014-2015: U-17 – 13GP – 1G – 5A – 6PTS – 8PIMS – -2 (Rest of Games)
2015-2016: U-17 – 5GP – 0G – 0A – 0PTS – 6PIMS (WHC-17)
2015-2016: U-18 – 7GP – 1G – 2A – 3PTS – 6PIMS – +6 (WJC-18)
2015-2016: U-20 – 2GP – 0G – 0A – 0PTS – 0PIMS – -2
2016-2017: U-18 – 5GP – 3G – 3A – 6PTS – 2PIMS – +4 (WJC-18)
2016-2017: U-18 – 4GP – 0G – 1A – 1PTS – 2PIMS – 1 (Hlinka Memorial)
2016-2017: U-20 – 6GP – 1G – 0A – 1PTS – 4PIMS – -2 (WJC-20)
2017-2018: U-20 – 1GP – 0G – 1A – 1PTS – 10PIMS

JUUSO VALIMAKI
6’2/205
October 6th/1998
NHL Rights: CGY (1st Round/16th Overall/2017)

2017-2018 Team:
Tri-City Americans (WHL) – 16GP – 5G – 12A – 17PTS – 10PIMS – +5

Previous International Experience:
2013-2014: U-16 – 5GP – 0G – 3A – 3PTS – 4PIMS – +7
2013-2014: U-17 – 7GP – 0G – 1A – 1PTS – 6PIMS – -1
2014-2015: U-17 – 3GP – 0G – 2A – 2PTS – 0PIMS – +1
2014-2015: U-18 – 7GP – 0G – 1A – 1PTS – 6PIMS – +5 (WJC-18)
2014-2015: U-18 – 16GP – 0G – 4A – 4PTS – 2PIMS – +2 (Rest of Games)
2014-2015: U-18 – 4GP – 0G – 1A – 1PTS – 0PIMS – +1 (Hlinka Memorial)
2015-2016: U-18 – 6GP – 0G – 2A – 2PTS – 0PIMS – +6 (WJC-18)
2015-2016: U-18 – 5GP – 1G – 0A – 1PTS – 4PIMS – +1 (Hlinka Memorial)
2016-2017: U-20 – 6GP – 2G – 0A – 2PTS – 6PIMS – +1 (WJC-20)
2016-2017: U-20 – 9GP – 2G – 1A – 3PTS – 10PIMS – +2 (Rest of Games)
2017-2018: U-20 – 4GP – 1G – 1A – 2PTS – 0PIMS

 

We will take a look at the forwards in the coming days.

 

 

 

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