Photo: KalPa Kuopio forward and Montreal Canadiens prospect Artturi Lehkonen played on Finland’s top line at the 2014 World Junior Championship (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Like Sweden's SHL and the Czech and Slovak Extraligas, Finland's Liiga has been hit hard by the defection of top young players to the KHL for bigger contracts.
Photo: HPK Hameenlinna goaltender and Nashville Predators prospect Juuse Saros turned in a stellar performance at the 2014 World Junior Championship, helping to lead Finland to their first gold medal at the U20 WJC since 1998 (courtesy of Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
No country has had as much success developing goaltenders in recent years as Finland.
But with 14 Finland-trained goalies playing in North America and another nine playing in Europe in either the KHL or in Sweden's SHL, the number of drafted prospects playing in Finland's Liiga has dwindled to just five.
Goaltender Philippe Desrosiers is the Hockey’s Future Prospect of the Month for February after posting a 9-0 record and 0.94 goals against average with Rimouski Oceanic. (courtesy of Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)
Rimouski Océanic goaltender and Dallas Stars prospect Philippe Desrosiers is the Hockey's Future February Prospect of the Month. A second round pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, Desrosiers went 9-0, allowed only eight goals, and established a new QMJHL record with three consecutive shutouts.
Photo: Colorado Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon has just broken the record for the longest point-scoring streak by an 18-year-old that had been held for 34 years by Wayne Gretzky (courtesy of Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images)
With the Olympic break in February, most NHL teams played only a half dozen games or so during the month of February. But that was enough time for Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon to widen his lead in the Calder Trophy poll, being a unanimous selection as the leader in the monthly poll by the Hockey's Future staff.
Photo: London Knights forward and Dallas Stars prospect Gemel Smith was dealt to the Knights by the Owen Sound Attack in a deal that sent Kyle Platzer and Santino Centorame to the Attack (courtesy of Terry Wilson/OHL Images)
After three-and-a-half years in Owen Sound, Gemel Smith has been knighted — and he’s hoping to play a key role leading the London Knights charge to its third Memorial Cup berth. Not only has he joined a team with a wealth of playoff experience, but he’s bringing some finals’ knowledge himself as he was part of the Attack’s OHL champion squad in 2010-11.