Finns in the NHL draft
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06-18-2009, 07:02 PM
Hockey's Future Staff
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Hamilton Square
Other Clubs and the NHL draft
Since 1986, when SapKo's Petri Matikainen was selected in the seventh round by Buffalo, there were thirteen players selected from clubs outside the SM-Liiga including two from KooKoo in Kouvola.
Of these, only one Mika Alatalo, eventually played in the NHL. Selected by Winnepeg in the 10th round of the 1990 draft, he did not sign a contract until nine years later (by that time the team had moved to Phoenix). He appeared in 152 games over two seasons for the Coyotes.
While the bulk of the other picks were mid to late round picks, there were two second round picks - both in 1986. Defenseman Jukka Pekka Seppo of Vaasa Sport was taken by Philadelphia with the 23rd pick and center Pekka Tirkkonen of SapKo was drafted by Boston at the 34th spot. Neither ever played in North America.
The last player taken from a non-SM-Liiga club was forward Miikka Tuomainen of TuTo (Turku), who was drafted by Atlanta in the seventh round in 2004.
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