Finns in the NHL draft
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06-18-2009, 04:52 PM
Hockey's Future Staff
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Hamilton Square
HIFK in the Draft
Tommi Salmelainen of HIFK was selected by the St. Louis Blues in the sixth round of the 1969 draft but spent just one season in North America with Kansas City of the Central League.
Matti Hagman, selected by Boston in 1975, was the first Finnish-drafted player in the NHL - appearing in 237 games for the Bruins.
HIFK has had the most selections with over 35 players, as well as five of the most successful players - Esa Tikkanen (1983 Edmonton - 877 games), Vlle Peltonen (1993 San Jose - 382 games), Jarkko Ruutu (1998 Vancouver - 497 games) and Niklas Hagman (1999 Florida - 546 games) and Olli Jokinen (technically only since he played his juniors in KalPa, but a first round pick by Los Angeles in 1997).
Since Hagman's selection, 17 HIFK players were selected, with only two players appearing in the NHL thus far - both of whom Marek Zidlicky and Jarno Kultanen were actually already established veterans by the time they joined HIFK.
Defenseman Teemu Laakso was drafted by Nashville in 2005 and played in the AHL last year while Timo Seppanen, a defenseman, and forwards Max Warn, Robert Nyholm, and Jonas Enlund were all drafted in 2006 but have yet to sign NHL contracts.
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