Veeti Vainio

Hometown:

Espoo, Finland

Currently Playing In:

Europe

Birthday:

1997-06-16

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2015

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

2015

Height:

6-2

Acquired:

5th Round (141st Overall), 2015

Weight:

180 lbs.

<<<<<<< Updated upstream
History

2011-12: Veeti Vainio played for the Espoo Blues U16 team in Finland. In 32 regular season games he scored 7 goals with 13 assists and 22 penalty minutes. Vainio score 1 goal with 3 assists and 2 penalty minutes in nine playoff games.

2012-13: Vainio played for the Espoo Blues U18 team as a 15-year-old and played for the Finland U16 team. He scored 2 goals with 9 assists and 30 penalty minutes in 30 games for Espoo. Vainio joined the club’s U16 team for its run to the C Juniors finals, scoring 4 goals with 3 assists and 41 penalty minutes in nine playoff games. In three games for the Finland U16 squad he had 3 assists and 12 penalty minutes.

2013-14: Vainio moved up to the Espoo U20 team and skated for Finland’s U17 team. In 42 regular season games for the first-place Blues he scored 13 goals with 31 assists and was +22 with 42 penalty minutes. Vainio led all defensemen in the playoffs with five goals and was +11 with 5 assists and 2 penalty minutes in 11 playoff games. Espoo captured the A juniors championship. In 12 games for the Finland U17 team Vainio scored 4 goals with 4 assists and was -1 with 6 penalty minutes.

2014-15: Vainio made his Liiga debut — appearing in two regular season games and one playoff contest with the Espoo Blues men’s team — and was an assistant captain for the Blues’ U20 team. He skated for the Finland U18 team in the Ivan Hlinka Tournament and the 2015 World Juniors. He had 1 assist with an even plus/minus in the three men’s league games. Vainio scored 13 goals with 31 assists in 42 regular season games and was +22 with 42 penalty minutes for the club’s U20 team. In five playoff games he scored 2 goals with 5 assists and was +1 with 4 penalty minutes. Vainio had 1 assist with 14 penalty minutes and an even plus/minus in four games at the Ivan Hlinka tournament. He had 1 assist and was -1 with 10 penalty minutes in seven games at the WJC, where Finland reached the gold medal game, falling 2-1 to the USA. Vainio was ranked 25th amongst international skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings and was selected by Columbus in the fifth round (141st overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft.

2015-16: Vainio missed time at the start of the year after suffering a wrist injury during prospect camp with the Blue Jackets. He returned to Finland and skated in 30 games for Espoo Blues in his first Liiga season; spending time with KeuPa HT in Mestis and also playing for the Blues U20 team. He had 4 assists and was -2 with 47 penalty minutes, averaging 18 minutes of ice time in Liiga play. Espoo finished last in the 15-team league. Vainio scored 1 goal with 4 assists and was +2 with 18 penalty minutes in six Mestis games with KeuPa HT. In six games with the Finland U19 team he scored 1 goal and was +2 with 8 penalty minutes.

Talent Analysis

Vainio is a big, mobile defenseman with some stick handling and passing skills. Slowed by injury at times, he is still developing in terms of his positional and tactical play.

Future

Vainio skated for last-place Espoo Blues in 2015-16 in his first season in Finland's Liiga. A big defenseman who has generated high expectations since early in his junior career, he will garner significant attention next season, when he is expected to challenge for a spot with the Finland U20 team and should step into a larger role for Espoo. He could also spend a year playing major junior hockey in Canada if he is selected in the 2016 CHL Import Draft. Long-term he projects as a middle pairing shutdown defenseman.

Columbus Blue Jackets stockpile back end with NCAA and European talent

by Chris Roberts
on
Photo: 6'5 stay-at-homer Ryan Collins registered four assists and spent 35 minutes in the sin bin this season. (Courtesy of David Berding/Icon Sportswire)

Photo: 6’5 stay-at-homer Ryan Collins registered four assists and spent 35 minutes in the sin bin this season. (Courtesy of David Berding/Icon Sportswire)

 

 

Since Jarmo Kekäläinen took over the general manager duties for the Columbus Blue Jackets, the organization has shown a fondness for European prospects, particularly in the later rounds. The 2015 NHL Draft was a prime example of that when the Jackets went overseas for five of their nine draft picks, and given the success of some of those picks already it’s a trend that could be expected to continue. Read more»

Trio of U20 players among top NHL-drafted defensemen out of Finland

by Tony Piscotta
on
Sami Niku and Antti Kalapudas - Team Finland - 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship

Photo: JyP Jyvaskyla defenseman and Winnipeg Jets prospect Sami Niku (R) is one of a trio of defensive NHL prospects that competed for Finland in their gold medal run at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship (courtesy of MARKKU ULANDER/AFP/Getty Images)

 

 

The 2015 NHL Draft saw six defensemen from Finland selected for only the second time since the draft was reduced to seven rounds in 2004. Though none of those players were selected in the top two rounds — as current Pittsburgh Penguin Olli Maatta was in the 2012 draft class that was previously the largest — the 2015 draft class has increased the number of NHL-drafted defensemen playing in Liiga. This has helped to expand this list to a top 10 after listing just five players last year. Read more»

2015-16 Liiga Preview, Pt. 1: Karpat shooting for threepeat as Finland’s top club

by Tony Piscotta
on
Sebastian Aho - Team Finland

Photo: Karpat Oulu forward and Carolina Hurricanes prospect Sebastian Aho and his Karpat teammates will be going for their third consecutive Kanada Cup championship (courtesy of Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)

 

 

With the addition of former Mestis club KooKoo, Finland’s Liiga in 2015-16 will feature 15 teams for the first time in league history. But, while the Kouvola-based squad should enjoy an intense rivalry with neighboring SaiPa Lappeenranta in southeastern Finland, things aren’t likely to change at the top of the league standings. Read more»

2015 NHL Draft Review: Rantanen heads bumper crop of Finnish draftees

by Tony Piscotta
on
Mikko Rantanen - Colorado Avalanche

Photo: Colorado Avalanche 2015 first round pick Mikko Rantanen signed an entry-level deal with the team in July (courtesy of Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

 

 

Entering the 2015 NHL Draft, there was much uncertainty regarding the prospects coming out of Finland. TPS Turku center Mikko Rantanen was the top-ranked European skater according to Central Scouting, but after that it was anybody’s guess as to how things would go in Sunrise, Florida. Read more»

2015 NHL Draft: Columbus Blue Jackets draft review

by David Hahn
on
Photo: Columbus Blue Jackets pick Zach Werenski was one of Team USA' s best defensemen in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Photo: Columbus Blue Jackets draft pick Zach Werenski was one of Team USA’ s best defensemen in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

 

 

Ever since Jarmo Kekalainen took the helm in 2013, the Columbus Blue Jackets have been pointed in a positive direction. Heading into the 2015 NHL Draft, the club had spent a number of selections on forwards, boasting an enviable group of high-caliber, quality scorers. The major question heading into the draft was what the team would do to bolster the blueline. Read more»