Pekka Rinne was part of the Karpat Oulu system since reaching the Junior A Finnish League in 2000-01. After a brief call up to the Finnish Elite League he returned to Junior A for the following season. Rinne developed solidly in the off-season bringing his goals against average from 3.29 in 2000-01 to 2.12 in 2001-02. Rinne continued to improve in 2002-03 again getting another one game call up to the Karpat Oulu senior team. Rinne’s hard work finally paid off in 2003-04 when he achieve full time Finnish Elite League status backing up starter Niklas Backstrom. Rinne played in 14 games for Karpat in the Elite League and also saw action in two games after Backstrom got injured.
Rinne is a big goalie that covers the net well. He also uses his athletic ability to make tough saves after he gets out of position. One deficiency in Rinne’s game is that his concentration can go awry resulting in the odd very soft goal.