Thread: Confirmed with Link: Blackhawks sign G Antti Raanta
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06-03-2013, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Juzmo View Post
A little story of the guy for those who don't know anything about him and are interested:

Everybody knew Antti Raanta was a talented individual, but with just talent he wasn't going to get the starting job in Lukko from Rauma since they would rather go with a experienced goalie that was solid and could play most of the season as the starter.

So their local rival, Ässät from Pori, decided to take a chance with the 21 yo goaltender. Even for a goaltender, Raanta was in poor physical shape and needed the quality physical training/activities Ässät could provide for him. Not to mention that the coaching for goaltenders had also been proved to be very good in the near past, with Jussi Rynnäs and Eero Kilpeläinen taking big steps forward during their time in the organization.

This all obviously also helped with the mental part of his game and mentally the final small, yet big, step was taken when in early 2013 he was the winning goalie against his former team Lukko in February. Before that game Raanta had always been good against every other team except the one he had played for in his youth, always giving up multiple goals on the first five or so shots of the game.

That particular game was played during the stretch that included 14 (of the team's 15 last) regular season games, of which he won 13 and lost one in OT. After that in the playoffs the team won 12 games out of 16 and ended up winning the championship after 35 years. Also ended up winning pretty much every possible individual award a goalie can in one year in the league and after the SM-liiga season had a solid showing in the World Championships.

As a goaltender he is calm, good with the stick, overall a solid goalie all around and had no clear technical weaknesses in the SM-liiga level. Very competitive, a bit of a showman, but also mature and has always stayed classy.

Will hope that he will get his fair share of games in the NHL next season and does well in them, but anything can happen so I won't predict anything.
Thatnks for posting, looking forward to seeing him in the indian head.

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