Eetu Sopanen


Kouvola Finland



Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:








Eligible for the 2015 NHL Draft


210 lbs.

<<<<<<< Updated upstream

2010-11: Eetu Sopanen appeared in two Division 1 U18 games and was an assistant captain for the Pelicans U16 team in Lahti, Finland. He had two assists for Pelicans U18 team and in 33 regular season U18 games he scored 6 goals with 9 assists and had 18 penalty minutes.

2011-12: Sopanen skated for Pelicans’ U18 team as a 15-year-old after beginning the year with the club’s U16 squad and played for Finland’s U16 team. In 31 games he scored 2 goals with 6 assists and had 12 penalty minutes. Sopanen played 18 international contests with Finland’s U16 team; scoring 2 goals with 6 assists and finishing +6 with 12 penalty minutes. In six games at the 2012 Youth Olympic Games he scored 1 goal with 2 assists and 4 penalty minutes.

2012-13: Sopanen played 16 games for the Pelicans U20 team and eight games with the club’s U18 team —missing part of the season due to injury — and represented Finland in the 2013 U17 World Hockey Challenge in Canada. He scored 1 goal with 6 assists and was -1 with 12 penalty minutes playing for Pelicans’ U20 team. Sopanen had 2 goals, 5 assists and 8 penalty minutes with the club’s U18 squad. In five games at the WHC he scored 1 goal and had 4 penalty minutes.

2013-14: Sopanen was limited to 14 games for the Pelicans’ U20 team early in the year due to back and neck injuries and missed the U20 World Junior Championship. He returned to late in the year, skating for Pelicans in the U20 and U18 playoffs and appearing in one game with the Finland U18 team at the World Juniors before again suffering an injury. He scored 3 goals with 6 assists and was +3 with 18 assists in 15 regular season games and scored 1 goal with 1 assist and an even plus/minus in eight playoff games for the Pelicans A Junior team. He scored one goal with one assist in his only U18 playoff game. Sopanen was +1 with no points nor penalties in one game at the World Juniors. Finland hosted the tournament but was eliminated in the quarterfinals, after losing to Sweden, 10-0.opanen was ranked 31st amongst European skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings but was not selected in the 2014 NHL Draft.

2014-15: Sopanen split the season between the Pelicans’ Liiga and U20 squads and also skated for Peliitat Heinola in Mestis in his first pro season. He played in 23 Liiga games for Pelicans, recording 3 assists and finishing +1 with 12 penalty minutes. In 11 Mestis games with Peliitat he was -2 with 2 assists and 10 penalty minutes. Sopanen played 20 games for the Pelicans U2o team, scoring 3 goals with 5 assists and finishing +3 with 40 penalty minutes. He served as an assistant captain for the Finland U19 team and was -1 with no points and 6 penalty minutes in three games.  Sopanen was ranked 69th amongst European skaters in the 2015 CSS mid-term rankings but was not among the 110 players in the final rankings prior to the 2015 NHL Draft. 

Talent Analysis

Sopanen is the younger brother of one-time Devils' prospect Vili Sopanen and Iiro Sopanen, both forwards. Among the top defenseman prospects in his age group, injuries kept him off the ice for much of the 2013-14 season and he was not selected in the 2014 NHL Draft. His size and raw skills have garnered attention. When healthy he is an effective two-way defender with the skating ability both to defend in his own zone and create plays off the transition game.


Sopanen after being hampered by injuries the two previous seasons, appeared to get his career back on track in 2014-15. Ability-wise, he compares favorably with other young defensemen but the lost time has stunted his development somewhat in terms of positional and tactical play. He still has the potential to be an effective two-way defensemen one day and should be an intriguing late-round option in the 2015 NHL Draft.

2016 NHL Draft: Finland’s Laine, Puljujarvi looking like Top 3 material at midseason

by Tony Piscotta
Patrik Laine - Team Finland - 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship

Photo: Tappara Tampere forward and 2016 prospect Patrik Laine was one of the main cogs for Team Finland in their gold medal win at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship (courtesy of RONI REKOMAA/AFP/Getty Images)



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»

2016 WJC Review: Combination of 2016 talent and veteran savvy lead Finland to gold

by Tony Piscotta
Jesse Puljujarvi, Sebastian Aho, and Patrik Laine - Team Finland - 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship

Photo: Team Finland players Jesse Puljujarvi (L), Sebastian Aho (C), and Patrik Laine (R) celebrate their country’s gold medal win at the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship (courtesy of HEIKKI SAUKKOMAA/AFP/Getty Images)



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»

2016 WJC Preview: Host Finland figures to be among the medal favorites

by Tony Piscotta
Jesse Puljujarvi - Karpat Oulu - Champions Hockey League

Photo: Karpat Oulu forward and 2016 prospect Jesse Puljujarvi is one of a trio of prospects from Finland competing at the 2016 World Junior Championship that could be chosen in the first round of the 2016 NHL Draft (courtesy of Karpat Oulu/Champions Hockey League via Getty Images)



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»

2014-15 Liiga Preview, Pt. 1: Player losses may prevent Karpat from repeating

by Tony Piscotta
Saku Maenalanen - Team Finland

Photo: Karpat Oulu forward and Nashville Predators prospect Saku Maenalanen was a key performer for Finland in that country’s run to a gold medal at the 2014 World Junior Championship (courtesy of ANDREAS HILLERGREN/AFP/Getty Images)


The 2014-15 season in Finland‘s Liiga will be an interesting one if only for the absence of long-time Helsinki club Jokerit, which bolted the league to compete in the KHL. Vaasa Sport, which finished second in Mestis last year but won back-to-back championships in 2010-11 and 2011-12, moves up to fill Jokerit’s spot in the 14-team league. Read more»

2014 NHL Draft Preview: Kapanen head of the class from Finland

by Tony Piscotta

Kasperi Kapanen - 2014 NHL Draft - Top Prospects Media Availability

Photo: KalPa Kuopio forward and 2014 prospect Kasperi Kapanen, sone of former NHL forward Sami Kapanen, is one of several 2014 NHL Draft prospects to have NHL bloodlines (courtesy of Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The 2014 NHL Draft figures to be an interesting one when it comes to players being selected out of Finland. The general consensus on the draft as a whole is that the talent pool drops off significantly after the first handful of prospects with the next group all very similar with little separating them. The same can be said of the prospects coming out of Finland this year.

Read more»