Finnish regular season ends

By Mikko Vuori

SM-liiga regular season ended last weekend and the
playoffs start today (03/22/01). Here are the regular season numbers for NHL draftes players and some undrafted juniors.

Name – drafter stats – since last update

W Frank Banham 56 24+27=51 +9 70 – 14 5+8=13 +2 18

Banham’s role wasn’t as big as in the beginning of the season,
maily because of Shayne Toporowsky’s arrival. Still he finished
with very good numbers.

W Teemu Elomo – Stars 56 2+10=12 +9 44 – 15 0+1=1 -2 6

This season must have been a disappointment for speedy winger.
Elomo was able to scro onl two goals despide playing last games
in team’s top line with Kimmo Rintanen and Niko Kapanen.
Elomo is going to play for Lukko Rauma next season.

D Ray Giroux – Islanders 46 7+18=25 +10 50 – 16 2+5=7 +6 12

Giroux wasn’t able to produce as much as when he joined Jokerit
but with his +6 in last games he was able to help his team
to clinch the reagular season win.

C Riku Hahl – Avalanche 55 3+9=12 -4 32 – 15 1+3=4 +1 8

Hahl’s last part of the season was pretty good.
He still hasn’t made his breakthrough, maybe next season?

W Niklas Hagman – Panthers 56 28+18=46 +1 32 – 15 9+8=17 +4 6

Hagman had a very strong last last part of the season. He finished
3rd in goal scoring after Jaroslav Bednar (32) and Vladimir Machulda
(29). Hagman is going to move to TPS Turku next season.

W Jukka Hentunen – Flames 56 27+28=55 +15 24 – 16 7+8=15 +7 2

Hentunen cooled at bit – he played “only” point-per-game hockey in
the last part of the season. Still, his 55 point in 56 games
rank 6th in the league. Looking forward to strong postseason
performance.

F Mikael Holmqvist – Mighty Ducks 46 4+5=9 +7 8 – 14 2+2=4 +7 0

Holmqvist’s season was a disappointment. After scoring the championship
winning goals last season he was able to find the net only four times
this season. Injuries slowed him down, but his performance was still
not what was expected.

W Hannes Hyvonen – Sharks 56 14+12=26 -3 34 – 15 3+2=5 -6 12

Hyvonen has played some games as a defenceman. It’s interesting to
see if he is going to continue that. All in all, Hyvonen’s season
was good after bad season last year.

C Niko Kapanen 56 11+21=32 +6 20 – 15 1+5=6 -1 6

Kapanen’s numbers aren’t as good as last two years. He is going to
play for Finland in World Championships, good performance there
could mean a NHL contract for him.

D Marko Kauppinen – Flyers 48 5+7=12 0 41 – 15 2+3=5 0 6

Kauppinen’s season wasn’t as good as hoped. He’ll move
to TPS Turku next season.

C Toni Koivisto 47 5+1=6 -5 6 – 15 3+0=0 -3 4

2001 eligible Koivisto has played almost every game
of Lukko Rauma and was able to score a couple of times.

C Mikko Koivu 21 0+1=1 -1 2 – 0 0+0=0 0 0

Koivu has played only junior games recently.

W Teemu Laine – Devils 25 3+2=5 +2 10 – 16 1+1=2 -1 4

Laine was able to crack Jokerit’s lineup at WJC time.
He has played some junior league playoffs games, but
usually he plays for senior team.

C Antti Miettinen – Stars 55 13+11=24 -3 28 – 15 4+2=6 -2 8

Miettinen was slowed down by some heart problems. He was still
able to play some games. Look for bigger role next season.

D Ilkka Mikkola – Canadiens 37 3+6=9 +9 22 – 9 1+1=2 0 10

Mikkola’s season was full of injuries. He wasn’t able to
produce in good TPS defense. TPS is going to swap Mikkola
with Jokerit for another dman Marko Kauppinen.

D Tero Maatta – Sharks 44 4+4=8 +1 24 – 16 3+3=6 +2 8

Maatta’s role was getting bigger in the last pat of the season,
thanks to injury in Jiri Vykoukal. Maatta’s numbers were good
in the last part of the season.

W Tuomas Pihlman 47 3+6=9 -3 59 – 13 1+1=2 -10 41

After the WJC Pihlman hasn’t been able to play as well as in
the beginning of the season.

W Jani Rita – Oilers 50 5+10=15 0 18 – 16 1+3=4 -1 0

Rita’s last games were not as good as the games after WJC.
He is back in 3rd line with Tuomo Ruutu.

W Pavel Rosa – Kings 54 25+25=50 -6 53 – 16 8+7=15 -4 31

Rosa’s numbers are good, just as everyone expected. He must
mature and play more for the team he is want to get back to NHL.

W Mikko Ruutu – Senators 56 5+6=11 +10 38 – 16 3+1=4 +5 12

Ruutu has worked hard and has been able to score a couple of goals.
Checking line player who has to add more muscle.

F Tuomo Ruutu 47 11+11=22 +8 86 – 10 4+3=7 +4 46

Ruutu had strong last 10 games after sitting out for a week to
get some rest after a long season. Ruutu was 2nd in rookie scoring
after Toni Dahlman (28 points in 56 games).

W Tony Salmelainen – Oilers 45 4+10=14 -6 4 – 15 1+3=4 -3 2

Oilers’ scouts have been happy with Salmelainen’s performance in
Ilves Tampere. Has to lear to score more though.

C Tommi Santala – Thrashers 56 16+24=40 -3 90 – 16 3+7=10 -5 18

Big center Santala finished season with nice numbers. He could
sign with Thrashers in couple of years time.

D Markus Seikola – Maple Leafs 23 1+0=1 +10 16 – 13 0+0=0 +7 10

With injuries of TPS’s regular blueliners Seikola got called up.
He played some solid hockey (+7).

D Henrik Tallinder – Sabres 56 5+9=14 +23 62 – 15 1+5=6 +5 18

Tallinder has played a very solid season. In last part of the season
he was involved more inte the offense. Sabres might want to sign
him this summer.

D Arto Tukio – Islanders

Tukio started season with great performance in Ilves’ first unit.
He missed WJC because of injury (team went go-karting). After the
injury he hasn’t yet reached the level he was playing in the
beginning of the season.

W Timo Vertala – Canadiens 46 17+10=27 +8 78 – 15 3+3=6 +1 18

Vertalas’s season was slowed by injuries. 17 goals is good,
but not as his 24 last season. Wasn’t able to improve this season,
but maybe he can play good post-season?

G Ari Ahonen – Devils 37 2.77 .920

Ahonen played good season. IFK helsinki defense
was not good and Ahonen faced a lot of shot.
Lately he missed some games because of minor injury
(puck hit his neck)

G Kristian Antila – Oilers 42 3.62 .898

Big goalie Antila played Assat Pori, team that finished
dead last in SM-liiga. Antila’s season was good, but he had
a very heavy workload.

G Mika Lehto – Penguins 41 3.17 .898

Lehto played for another low table tean JYP Jyväskylä.
Lehto’s season was good, he was able to grab the starter
role from veteran Ari-Pekka Siekkinen.

G Kari Lehtonen 4 1.90 .937

Lehtonen played mostly for junior team, but when he
was called up he played solid hockey.

G Antero Niittymaki 21 2.48 0.907

Military service really slowed down Niittymaki’s season.
He was backup in TPS Turku after Fredrik Norrena.