Currently Playing In:
Eligible for draft:
6th round (172nd overal), 2006
Wirtanen won a Jr C silver medal with the famous ’86-born Ahmat team, which spawned five national team players. In the summer of 2002 he moved to a bigger organization and played with the Jr B team of HPK. In 2004 he went undrafted despite being a part of Finland’s victorious Viking Cup team and the U18 WC squad. Wirtanen needed to dominate Finnish Jr A for a season before being ready for the pros and a breakout in 2005-06. He played fantastic two-way hockey throughout the season and captained Finland to a WJC bronze, named one of the team’s best three players.
Wirtanen is a rather typical Finnish player, a two-way center with limited offensive upside. He leads his unit to control the play in all zones, his excellent two-way smarts complemented by strong leadership and exceptional penalty-killing skills. Wirtanen has now grown to the size of an adult player and his physical play has improved from average to good. He can both shoot and pass, but only to the extent of putting up lower-line points when facing challenging opposition. His performance is so consistent that very nearly everyone would like him on his team.