Sami Vatanen
Image: NHL

Sami Vatanen


Jyvaskyla Finland

Currently Playing In:






Eligible for draft:









4th round (106th overall, 2009


159 lbs.

<<<<<<< Updated upstream

2007-08: In 35 games with JYP’s U20 squad, Sami Vatanen scored nine goals and 29 assists. He also competed with Finland’s national team at the U18 WJC, registering three helpers in six games.

2008-09: Vatanen suited up for 20 games with JYP in the U20 SM-Liiga, posting three goals and seven assists. Captained the Finnish entry in the U18 World Championships, winning a bronze medal in the process. Vatanen was chosen in the fourth round, 106th overall, of the 2009 NHL Draft by the Anaheim Ducks.

2009-10: Playing for JyP HT Jyvaskyla of the Finnish league, Vatanen posted 7 goals, 23 assists, 44 PIM, and 4 powerplay goals. He also registered 324 shots. He also represented Finland at the WJC where he posted 2 goals and 3 assists in 6 games. At the end of the season, he skated for Finland at the World Cup, where he went scoreless in 7 games.

2010-11: Vatanen was an offensive catalyst from his defense spot as a 19-year-old in his second season with JyP, the top team in Finland’s SM-Liiga. JyP finished with 129 points – ten points ahead of second-place Assat Pori and Vatanen was a team-leading +30 plus/minus with 11 goals and 20 assists in 52 games. He was +4 with 1 goal and 1 assist in three playoff games before suffering a leg injury that kept him out of the remainder of the playoffs and the 2011 IIHF World Championship. Vatanen played for Finland at the 2011 U20 World Junior Championship and was +7 with 4 assists. He signed a three-year, entry-level contract with Anaheim in May 2011.

2011-12: Vatanen was the second-leading scorer among defensemen in Finland’s SM-Liiga behind veteran Toni Soderholm. He scored 14 goals with 28 assists in 49 games in his third season with league champion JyP. Vatanan missed time mid-season with a broken finger and also suffered a leg injury during the SM-Liiga playoffs that limited him to four games. JyP defeated Pelicans in the Kanada Cup finals after finishing fourth in the regular season . Vatanen scored 2 goals and was plus-two with 4 penalty minutes in the playoffs. His injury kept him out of the 2012 U20 IIHF World Championship – which was co-hosted by Finland and Sweden.

2012-13: Vatanen appeared in eight NHL games with Anaheim and was the second-leading scorer for the Ducks’ AHL affiliate Norfolk in his first pro season in North America. He made his NHL debut as a 21-year-old in a game against Minnesota on February 1st and played in three games before being returned to Norfolk then was called up in April and finished the season with Anaheim. He scored 2 goals and was +3, averaging 15:49 minutes of ice time with Anaheim. Vatanen was with the Ducks during the playoffs but did not see any action. In 62 AHL games with the Admirals he scored 9 goals with a team-leading 36 assists and was an even plus/minus with 44 penalty minutes. Norfolk was fifth in the East Division; two points out of an AHL playoff spot.


Talent Analysis

Vatanen has game-breaking potential with his speed, imagination, and seeing-eye wrist shot. As a puck-carrying, puck-moving defenseman, his skills are on par with the best prospects out there. Vatanen remains rather undersized, which will present a major obstacle as he transitions onto North American ice. He also can be a bit of a risk in his own zone as his size and aggressive offensive style can lead him to getting out of position.




Vatanen was an absolute killer in his rookie season in the AHL, scoring 45 points in 62 games and making the AHL All-Star and All-Rookie Teams for 2012-13. Despite his fantastic offensive game he still was questionable defensively though. However those detractors should not stop him from starting the year with the Ducks in a protected minutes role. Moving forward, Vatanen has true potential to be the Ducks second pairing puck-mover as well as a powerplay specialist on their top unit.



Anaheim Ducks have even more firepower developing at minor league level

by Chris Phifer

John Gibson - Norfolk Admirals

Photo: Rookie goaltender John Gibson assumed the starting role in Norfolk with Anaheim relying heavily on Frederik Andersen at the NHL level (courtesy of Fred Kfoury/Icon SMI)

In what could be regarded as a development year with all the incoming young players, the Norfolk Admirals are off to a respectable 20-13-1-5 start. Norfolk stood to lose quite a few valuable players to the Anaheim Ducks this season, and with players like Hampus Lindholm, Sami Vatanen, Emerson Etem, Frederik Andersen, and Patrick Maroon all spending considerable time in the NHL in 2013-14 that fear became a reality.

Read more»

Anaheim Ducks system features top-end talent and enviable depth

by Chris Phifer

Jakob Silfverberg - Anaheim Ducks

Photo: Offseason acquisition Jakob Silfverberg saw action in 11 games with Anaheim, including two against his former team the Senators, before a broken hand forced him out of the lineup (courtesy of Debora Robinson/NHLI via Getty Images)

The Anaheim Ducks' brass has done an excellent job maintaining depth throughout their prospect pool in recent years. They have done incredibly well in the past few drafts, adding players who can score, but also players capable of playing a responsible two-way game.

Read more»

New additions further strengthen the Anaheim Ducks Top 20 ranking

by Jason Lewis

John Gibson - Team USA

Photo: John Gibson had stellar showings for Team USA at the WJC, and as pictured here, in leading the U.S. to a shootout win over Finland for the bronze medal at the 2013 IIHF World Championship (courtesy of JONATHAN NACKSTRAND/AFP/Getty Images)

The Anaheim Ducks added several key prospects this off-season via drafting and trade. While the Ducks world was shaken by the trade of Bobby Ryan to Ottawa, in return they received two tremendous pieces in Jakob Silfverberg and Stefan Noesen. They also added via draft Shea Theodore, Nick Sorensen, and Keaton Thompson. The addition of these talented players has caused a bit of a shuffle in the rankings, not due to poor play or a downgrade of potential, but simply due to an increase of quality players in the system.

Read more»

Anaheim Ducks 2013 draft preview

by Jason Lewis
Cam Fowler - Anaheim Ducks

Photo: The Ducks have selected 10 defensemen in their past three drafts, including Cam Fowler 12th overall in 2010. (courtesy of John Cordes/Icon SMI)

The Anaheim Ducks had a more successful 2013 season than many people expected. After struggling in the 2011-12 season and failing to make the playoffs, the franchise looked ready for a rebuild. However, with a fresh season under new coach Bruce Boudreau in 2013, they surprised everyone and won the Pacific Division. The wealth of prospects that the franchise has are developing well, and a few are starting to poke into the NHL and make an impact.

Read more»

Talent and diversity of Anaheim Ducks pipeline apparent in prospect awards

by Brad Gardner

Nicolas Kerdiles - Wisconsin Badgers

Photo: Wisconsin freshman Nicolas Kerdiles (#17) had a productive freshman season for the Badgers and is a player to watch in the NCAA scoring race heading into the 2013-14 season (courtesy of Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

The Anaheim Ducks had several prospects transition into depth roles at the NHL level in 2012-13, with Emerson Etem standing out in particular in the playoffs. The organization’s prospects also found success at lower levels of play, from John Gibson’s international success to Nicolas Kerdiles making an impact in the NCAA as a freshman. The following prospect awards highlight many of the notable performances among the Anaheim Ducks’ prospect pool in 2012-13.

Read more»