Antti Raanta
Image: SM-liiga

Antti Raanta

Hometown:

Rauma Finland

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1989-05-12

Position:

G

Eligible for draft:

2007

Catches:

Left

Drafted:

Height:

6-0

Acquired:

Free agent signing, 2013

Weight:

187 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • C

History

2008-09: Antti Raanta led all goalies in A Juniors with over 2400 minutes played in the regular season but did not seem to wear down – leading Lukko Rauma to a strong run in the playoffs before the team fell to eventual champ Espoo Blues. He also appeared in two games for the Team Finland Junior squad during their Mestis tour but was left off the final roster in favor of  Lethbridge’s Juha Metsola and SM-Liiga rookie Harri Sateri, a San Jose Sharks prospect. Following the season he signed a three-year SM-Liiga contract with Lukko Rauma.

2009-10: Raanta made his SM-Liiga debut as a 20-year-old in a September game for Lukko but spent much of the first half with Lukko's junior team. He saw more action late in the year in tandem with one-time Maple Leafs' goalie Mikael Tellqvist after veteran Petri Vehanen left Rauma for the KHL. In fifteen SM-Liiga games , Raanta was 6-7-1 with 2 shutouts and had a 2.66 goals against and .918 save percentage. Tellqvist started all four games in the playoff series against TPS. Raanta played 15 regular season games for Lukko's U20 team, with a 2.66 goals against and .917 save percentage, and in four playoff games he had a 1.51 goals against and .957 save percentage.

2010-11: Raanta appeared in 20 games with Lukko in his first full SM-Liiga season – serving as a backup to veterans Miika Wiikman and then Mika Noronen (Wiikman finished the season with Ilves). Raanta was 6-6-5 and had 1 shutout; finishing with a 2.37 goals against and .911 save percentage. Lukko was fifth in the league in the regular season and captured the SM-Liiga's bronze medal in the playoffs. Raanta appeared in two playoff games and was 0-1 with a 4.28 goals against and .818 save percentage.

2011-12: Ranta went from Lukko to arch-rival Assat after signing a two-year contract with the Pori club in April 2011. In 38 regular season games he was 21-10-4 with 2 shutouts and had a 2.23 goals against and .933 save percentage. Assat finished fifth in the regular season and was swept by eventual champion JyP in the playoff quarterfinals. Raanta started three of four playoff games and was 0-3 with a 3.07 goals against and .917 save percentage.

2012-13: Raanta received the Urpo Ylonen trophy as the league's top goaltender and Jari Kurri trophy as the top player in the playoffs as Assat captured the SM-Liiga championship. He was 21-11-10 with 5 shutouts in 45 regular season games and had a 1.85 goals against and .943 save percentage. After finishing fourth in the regular season Assat reached the playoff finals and defeated second-place Tappara Tampere. Raanta was 12-4 with 4 shutouts in 16 playoff games and had a 1.33 goals against and .955 save percentage. He signed a one-year entry-level contract with Chicago in June 2013.

 

Talent Analysis

Raanta is not the biggest nor the most skilled goaltender, but he has proven to be a durable and productive goaltender in the Finnish leagues. He uses consistent positioning to make the first save and a battler's mentality to get in the way of any subsequent chances. Raanta's reliability and steady play have earned him accolades in Finland, but the goalie will have to prove himself all over again as he transitions to North America.

 

Future

Raanta won an MVP award and a league championship in 2012-13 with Assat, the SM-liiga's best defensive team. Not only will he be facing the transition to the speed and new angles of the North American game, but he will be doing so behind a Rockford team that has not made it easy on goalies in recent years. Chicago signed veteran Nikolai Khabibulin to shore up their goaltending depth behind Corey Crawford. Raanta stands third in the pecking order going into training camp, and considering Khabibulin's advanced age and recent injury history, the Finnish rookie may even have a chance to slide in as back-up in Chicago at some point during the season.

 

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