Jarkko Samuli Ruutu (pronounced Yar-ko Roo-to (IPA: /ˈjʌrk.kɔ ˈruː.tu/); born August 23, 1975) is a Finnish former professional ice hockey forward who played in the National Hockey League (NHL) with the Vancouver Canucks, Pittsburgh Penguins, Ottawa Senators and Anaheim Ducks. He is currently serving as a European development coach for the Columbus Blue Jackets.
August 23, 1975|
|Height||6 ft 2 in (188 cm)|
|Weight||204 lb (93 kg; 14 st 8 lb)|
68th overall, 1998|
Ruutu initially moved to North America to play college hockey with Michigan Tech of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). However, after his first year, he returned to Finland and turned professional with HIFK of the SM-liiga in 1996–97. In his draft year, he recorded 20 points in 37 games and was then drafted by the Vancouver Canucks in the third round, 68th overall, in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. He played one more season with HIFK before moving back to North America to play for the Canucks' American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate at the time, the Syracuse Crunch.
Ruutu played his first full season with the Canucks in 2001–02 and earned himself a reputation as one of the NHL's most effective "pests" or "agitators". During the 2004–05 NHL lockout, he returned to play for HIFK and set a SM-liiga record for penalty minutes in a single season with 215 (since broken by Matt Nickerson).
Ruutu had his best NHL season to date statistically in the 2005–06 season, scoring 10 goals and 7 assists for 17 points in 82 games, while amassing 142 penalty minutes with the Canucks. In the off-season, Ruutu became a free agent on July 1, 2006, and signed with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He recorded his first three-point game in NHL during his second season with the Penguins on March 27, 2008, against the New York Islanders.
In July 2008, Ruutu signed with the Ottawa Senators to a three-year, $3.9 million contract. On November 13, 2008, he was suspended two games for elbowing Maxim Lapierre in the head two days earlier in a game against the Montreal Canadiens.
In a game on January 6, 2009, Ruutu allegedly bit the gloved thumb of Buffalo Sabres' enforcer Andrew Peters during a first-period altercation, although he denied this in a post-game interview and claimed Peters had actually gouged his eye and stuck his fingers into Ruutu's mouth. The next day, he was suspended for two games and fined $31,700 by the NHL for the incident.
On February 17, 2011, Ruutu was traded to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for a sixth-round draft pick in 2011. In his final season in the NHL, Ruutu played out remainder of his contract with the Ducks, appearing in 23 games for a goal and assist.
After his NHL career, Ruutu returned to the SM-Liiga to play for Jokerit on a three-year contract. His contract was not renewed after Jokerit left SM-Liiga to join the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) in 2014. He completed his professional career playing four games with EHC Biel in the Swiss National League A (NLA) during the 2014–15 season before announcing his retirement as a player on December 15, 2014.
|Men's ice hockey|
Ruutu also won a silver medal with Finland at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. He gained notoriety during the tournament when he checked Czech winger Jaromír Jágr to the boards while Jágr was crouching.
Ruutu is married to Sofia Ruutu (née Morelius), a Finnish model and blogger. The couple have two children and live in Töölö, Helsinki. His younger brother, Tuomo Ruutu, also played in the NHL, appearing in more than 700 games, and was mostly recently active with HC Davos in the Swiss NLA. His other brother, retired player Mikko Ruutu, is currently a scout for the Ottawa Senators. Jarkko Ruutu is also a second cousin of Hanno Möttölä, who became the first Finnish basketball player to play in the National Basketball Association (NBA). Ruutu's cousin, Raul Ruutu, plays bass in Finnish pop rock band Sunrise Avenue.
Regular season and playoffsEdit
|1995–96||Michigan Tech University||WCHA||38||12||10||22||96||—||—||—||—||—|
|2000–01||Kansas City Blades||IHL||46||11||18||29||111||—||—||—||—||—|
- Signed as a free agent by HIFK Helsinki (Finland), September 23, 2004.
- Signed as a free agent by Pittsburgh Penguins, July 4, 2006.
- Signed as a free agent by Ottawa Senators, July 2, 2008.
- Traded by the Ottawa Senators to the Anaheim Ducks, February 17, 2011
- Signed as a free agent by Jokerit, September 9, 2011
- "Archived copy" (in Finnish). Archived from the original on 2009-02-14. Retrieved 2008-11-17.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "Crosby returns; Penguins handle Islanders, take over first in East". CBS Sports. 2008-03-27. Archived from the original on 2012-07-08. Retrieved 2008-03-27.
- "Elbow smash earns Ruutu two-game ban". The Globe and Mail. 2008-11-13. Retrieved 2008-11-14.[permanent dead link]
- "Peters backs NHL's punishment of Ruutu for biting incident". USA Today. 2009-01-07. Retrieved 2009-01-07.
- "Jarkko Ruutu retires". International Ice Hockey Federation. 2014-12-15. Retrieved 2014-12-15.