Joni Pitkanen is 2002 eligible Finnish defenceman, who is playing for his
hometown Oulu in Finnish SM-liiga. Many experts believe that Pitkanen is
one of the best Finnish defenceman prospects ever.
Here are some parts of the interview done by
Kari Heikkinen and that was originally
published in Finnish hockey site Jatkoaika.com
before the Four Nations U20 tournament that was played in Vaasa, Finland last week.
Q: What are your first memories of hockey?
A: There is a long winter in Oulu, and we used to live near the Rannanperä rink.
First I just wwent to to rink with boots to hustle, but later we bought a skates for me.
I remember that I listened Karpatgames from radio and there was a lot of hockey on TV,
so that has had an influence on me. My dad or my bother didn’t play, so I didn’t get
the spark from there.
I started playing at the age of five and joined a team when I was seven.
I was a bid nervous about joining a real team, but then I encouraged myself and now I’m
Q: Who are your idols in hockey and sports all in all? Reijo Ruotsalainen? Janne Niinimaa?
A: There are many of them, but maybe Reijo Ruotsalainen, as he is from Oulu. And Mario
Lemieux, altough he is a forward. When I started to follow NHL he had just won two
Stanley Cups. Niinimaa is still quite young, but when he trains with us I follow
what he does. He is quite a player.
Q: How would you describe yourself as a player? How about in five years time?< Read more »