A national team goalie since U17, Karri Ramo broke into the Jr A team in 2003-04 and managed to secure the backup's job in the U18 World Championships, where he played one game. As the pro team let their starter walk before the end of the season and the backup faltered, Ramo also saw action in the elite league, getting shelled behind the weak team. Drafted out of Finland in 2004, back then Rämö didn't bask in spotlights but entered the draft with only some international exposure and relatively modest achievements. Getting drafted was not a given for him, but in the sixth round the Lightning picked the youngster considered to have good, raw tools for a butterfly goalie.
Rämö improved very quickly. In Jr A his play carried him to the very top of the league's goalie charts, and when the Pelicans pro team had trouble with their goalies, Rämö was called to step in and he performed admirably. On some nights he saved the league's weakest team, on others he took the beating and bounced right back.
2005-06: Rämö left Pelicans behind and joined HPK for the 2005-06 season.
2007-08: Ramo was forced to face a lot of shots last year with both the Lightning and their AHL club in Norfolk (both of whom finished in the bottom of their respective divisions). Despite the team struggles, Ramo was able to maintain his focus – much like he did as an 18-year old with Pelicans in the SM-Liiga – when he played 26 games and miraculously managed to maintain a 3.98 GAA; again, on the league’s weakest squad. Much of his success is due to the fact that he is able to use his large frame to fill the net – particularly against threats in tight.
Rämö is a fairly quick butterfly goalie with good size, which is a very good foundation for success. He works well with the glove and blocker but should still watch out for giving up rebounds. There is also room for improvement when it comes to coverage and positioning. These flaws not that worrying, as his current abilities have taken him rather far already.
Ramo's rights have been dealt to Calgary in the trade that also brought Mike Cammalleri to the Flames.