In the first part of this preview, HF looked at seven of the 14 teams that are competing in Finland's SM-liiga for the 2013-14 season. In this second part, we look at the remaining seven teams taking part in Finland's top hockey league with an emphasis on the NHL prospects for each club (number in parentheses indicates number of players whose rights are held by an NHL team).
The 2012-13 season in Finland's SM-Liiga was interesting, to say the least.
With an influx of NHL players early in the season due to the NHL lockout, the level of play was higher than in recent years. When those players returned to their NHL clubs, the remainder of the season saw several teams which had not had much success recently in the thick of things.
At the 2012 World Junior Championship, much of the focus was on high profile forwards Mikael Granlund and Teemu Pulkkinen – veterans of previous tournaments who were making one last attempt to win a gold medal. While Finland came up short of that goal, losing to eventual champion Sweden in a shootout in the semifinals, the team's fourth place finish would have to be considered a success.
Forward Steve Moses is in his first year of pro hockey with Jokerit in Finland's SM-Liiga. He is currently the second-leading scorer for Jokerit behind veteran Ilari Filppula. Moses played for the AHL's Connecticut Whale at the end of last season after completing his college career at the University of New Hampshire.
2012-13 is shaping up to be another exciting season in Hockey East. With the massive changes to the college hockey landscape on the horizon, the current, ten-member Hockey East conference will see an expansion in the next two years. Notre Dame joins the conference next season, while the University of Connecticut's men’s team will become Hockey East members beginning in the 2014-15 season (the UConn women’s team is already a member of Hockey East).