If Patrik Laine and Jesse Puljujarvi were the only players coming out of Finland this year, the 2016 NHL Draft would still be a big one for Suomi fans. Much like the Tyler vs. Taylor theme of the 2010 NHL Draft — when media sources tried to determine whether current Dallas Star Tyler Seguin or Edmonton’s Taylor Hall would be the top overall selection — Puljujarvi and Laine have been in the media spotlight all season and are surefire first-round picks. But those two are just part of what is expected to be a large class of Finnish players taken in the 2016 NHL Draft. Read more»
Finland has garnered a well-deserved reputation for developing goaltenders in recent years. The top five goalies currently playing in Finland are not likely to match the career achievements of players like Pekka Rinne or Tuukka Rask but instead are long-range projects capable of one day being competent NHL starters or backups. Read more»
Finland was the center of the junior hockey world when it hosted the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship, with the gold medal the home team won in Helsinki not soon to be forgotten.
For 2016 NHL Draft potential first round picks Jesse Puljujarvi and Patrik Laine the games were a coming out party as the two were part of the team’s dominant “Kid Line” — teaming with Puljujarvi’s Karpat teammate Sebastian Aho (CAR) to lead the tournament in scoring. Read more»
When Toronto Maple Leafs‘ prospect Kasperi Kapanen jokingly pantomimed throwing a fictitious monkey off his back after scoring his first goal of the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship for Finland — the seventh goal in what would be an 8-3 win over Slovakia in Group B play — it was a bit amusing. Read more»
Few nations take as much pride in their national hockey teams — whether at the men’s level or in junior play — as does Finland. After a disappointing seventh-place finish in Canada last year, Suomi is hoping to challenge for the gold medal when it hosts the 2016 World Junior Championship. Read more»