Miikka Salomaki
Image: Karpat

Miikka Salomaki

Hometown:

Raahe Finland

Currently Playing In:

Pro

Birthday:

1993-03-09

Position:

LW

Eligible for draft:

2011

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2011

Height:

5-11

Acquired:

2nd round (52nd overall), 2011

Weight:

205 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • C

History

2008-09: Miikka Salomaki played for Laser HT’s U-18 Junior B squad. In 23 games, he scored 13 goals and added 30 assists for 43 points to go along with 71 penalty minutes.

2009-10: Salomaki played for Karpat’s U-20 squad Junior A club. In 37 games, he scored 18 goals and added 25 assists for 43 points to go along with 93 penalty minutes. Salomaki played for Finland at the 2010 World U-17 Hockey Challenge, scoring 2 goals and adding 1 assist for 3 points in 5 games. Salomaki also played for Finland at the 2010 U-18 World Junior Championship, picking up 1 assist in 5 games.

2010-11: Salomaki played for Karpat in Finland’s top league. In 40 games, he scored 4 goals and added 6 assists for 10 points to go along with 53 penalty minutes. Salomaki picked up 1 assist on 3 playoff games. Salomaki played for Finland at the 2011 U-20 World Junior Championship, scoring 2 goals and adding 1 assist for 3 points in 6 games. Salomaki also played for Finland at the U-18 World Junior Championship, scoring 4 goals and adding 2 assists for 6 points in 6 games. Salomaki was chosen in the second round, 36th overall, of the 2011 KHL Draft by Dynamo Minsk.

2011-12: Salomaki skated in 40 of 60 games for Karpat in his second season – missing time in January and February after suffering a ruptured spleen at the 2012 U20 World Junior Championship. He scored 12 goals with 9 assists and was plus-nine with 56 penalty minutes; averaging 16 minutes of ice time. Karpat finished seventh in the SM-Liiga and lost to second-place Pelicans in a seven-game series in the playoff quarterfinals. Salomaki played in 7 of 9 games during the playoffs due to a two-game suspension and was plus-three with one assist and 59 penalty minutes.  Salomaki was a key player for Finland in his second WJC – skating the second line with Karpat teammate Joonas Donskoi and Joel Armia (Buffalo). He scored 3 goals with 3 assists in seven games and was plus-one with 4 penalty minutes for the fourth-place Finns.

2012-13: Salomaki played 42 games for Karpat in his third SM-Liiga season and represented Finland in the 2013 World Junior Championship. He scored 9 goals with 10 assists and was +8 with 44 penalty minutes for the Oulu club. Karpat finished seventh and lost to Lukko in a preliminary series. Salomaki scored 2 goals and had 14 minutes in three playoff games. Playing on Finland’s top line along with Joel Armia (Buffalo) and Markus Granlund (Calgary) in Ufa, he scored 3 goals with 5 assists and was +1 with 6 penalty minutes in six games. Finland finished seventh in the WJC. Salomaki signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Nashville in April, 2013.

2013-14: Salomaki had a successful first season in North America — leading Nashville AHL affiliate Milwaukee in scoring — and was selected to represent Finland in the 2014 IIHF World Championship. Frequently skating on a line with fellow rookie Colton Sissons, he scored 20 goals with 30 assists and was plus-six with 83 penalty minutes in 75 regular season games. In the three game playoff series against the Toronto Marlies he was minus-one with no points and six penalty minutes. Playing for the silver medal-winning Finland squad he scored 1 goal with 1 assist in ten games and was plus-three with 18 penalty minutes.

 

Talent Analysis

Salomaki has improved his offensive skills over the past year and has a scoring ability that could project him as a top-six forward in the NHL. He has an excellent work ethic and is a tenacious defender that has some sandpaper to his game. The versatile winger can play all the forward positions and as his offensive talents improve, he could become a good two-way player with his already reliable defensive-zone play. The energetic player has to improve his skating stride, acceleration and balancing to play at the NHL level but his overall style fits very well to the North American game.

 

Future

Salomaki is one of several young forwards who will push for a spot with the Predators in camp this fall under new Nashville coach Peter Laviolette. The longer NHL season seemed to take its toll on Salomaki in his rookie year as he faded a bit but his productivity as a 20-year-old suggests that he can be a successful pro and will one day be a two-way winger capable of providing secondary offense.

 

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