Open main menu

Sami Aittokallio (born 6 August 1992) is a Finnish professional ice hockey goaltender who currently plays for Ässät of the Liiga. He has formerly played with the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League (NHL)

Sami Aittokallio
Sami Aittokallio Lake Erie 2013.jpg
Aittokallio with Lake Erie Monsters during 2013–14 AHL season
Born (1992-08-06) 6 August 1992 (age 27)
Tampere, Finland
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Position Goaltender
Catches Left
Liiga team
Former teams
Ässät
Ilves
Colorado Avalanche
Oulun Kärpät
HC Sparta Praha
Vaasan Sport
NHL Draft 107th overall, 2010
Colorado Avalanche
Playing career 2010–present

Playing careerEdit

Aittokallio was selected in the fourth round, 107th overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.[1] Despite ranked as the number one European Goalie before the draft, he was the seventh goaltender taken.[2]

In the 2009–10 season, Aittokallio made his debut in the SM-liiga as a 17-year-old playing in one game for Ilves. As well as representing Ilves in junior, Aittokallio spent a portion of the season on loan with Lempäälän Kisa in the Mestis league. On 12 April 2010, Aittokallio signed a two-year contract extension to remain with Ilves, his original team as a youth.[3] In each season, he continued to split the year between Ilves youth team, LeKi and in the 2010–11 SM-liiga season, he played a career high 16 games for 5 wins.

After fulfilling his junior eligibility and his commitment to Ilves, Aittokallio was signed to a three-year entry level contract with the Avalanche on 11 May 2012.[4]

 
Aittokallio playing in Finland.

After 26 games with the Monsters, Aittokallio received his first NHL recall to the Avalanche during the lockout shortened 2012–13 season, to fill the back-up position after an injury to starting goaltender Semyon Varlamov on 9 April 2013.[5] On 11 April 2013, he made his NHL debut against the Los Angeles Kings, becoming the youngest since Marc Denis to start for the Avalanche.[6] Aittokallio failed to complete the game after suffering from dehydration with the game tied midway through the third period, and was replaced in the eventual shootout loss by veteran Jean-Sébastien Giguère.[7]

In the 2014–15 season, Aittokallio suffered from injury and indifferent form, playing with the Monsters and the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL.

Despite being tendered a qualifying offer by the Avalanche, Aittokallio opted to return to Finland to further his development in signing a two-year contract with Liiga club, Oulun Kärpät on 2 July 2015.[8] Later in the off-season on 25 August 2015, it was announced that Aittokallio agreed to a one-year contract to keep within Avalanche organization, with a European clause allowing the continuance of his contract with Kärpät.[9]

After two seasons with Kärpät, Aittokallio left the club and Finland in signing a one-year deal with Czech club, HC Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga on May 13, 2017.[10] In the 2017–18 season, Aittokallio had a successful stint the Czech Republic, collecting 15 wins in a starting role through 28 games.

On April 13, 2018, Aittokallio returned to the Finnish Liiga, signing a one-year deal with his third top flight Finnish club, Vaasan Sport.[11] In the 2018–19 season, Aittokallio was unable to reproduce the heights of previous seasons statistically, collecting 9 wins in 30 games and finishing with a 3.10 goals against average as Sport narrowly missed out on the Wild Card round.

Having left Sport, Aittokallio agreed to a two-year contract with his fourth Liiga outfit, Ässät Pori, on May 10, 2019.[12]

International playEdit

Medal record
Representing   Finland
Men's ice hockey
IIHF World U18 Championships
  2010 Belarus

Aittokallio was first selected to represent Finland at the 2009 World U-17 Hockey Challenge tournament organised by Hockey Canada.[13] With an understrength team, Aittokallio mirrored the Finnish team and went winless in three games for the tournament to finish tenth out of ten.[14] Touted for his hockey intelligence, good reflexes and athleticism, Aittokallio was selected to be first choice goaltender for Finland at the 2010 World Under-18 Championships in Minsk, Belarus.[15] Sami, however, missed the tournament after suffering an ankle injury as Finland went on to defend their Bronze medal against Russia.[16]

Aittokallio was selected to serve as the backup goaltender to Joni Ortio for Finland at the 2011 World Junior Championships.[17] He made a solitary appearance in relief for Ortio, playing the third period of a 6–0 victory over Slovakia on 31 December 2010.[18]

Aittokallio returned for the 2012 World Junior Championships, and was Finland's starting goaltender, with Christopher Gibson serving as his back-up. In Finland's semifinal against Sweden, Aittokallio made 56 saves, but ultimately, Finland lost 2–3 in a shootout. Aittokallio was named Finland's player of the game with his impressive performance.[19] Following that loss, they played in the bronze medal game against Canada, which they lost 0–4. However, Finland recorded their best performance in the World Juniors since 2006 with their 4th-place exit and Aittokallio was subsequently selected in Finland's top three players for the tournament.[20]

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP W L T/OT MIN GA SO GAA SV% GP W L MIN GA SO GAA SV%
2009–10 Ilves SM-l 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.00 1.000
2010–11 Ilves SM-l 16 5 8 0 790 36 1 2.73 .909 2 0 2 116 5 0 2.57 .911
2011–12 Ilves SM-l 11 1 6 0 596 28 0 2.82 .910
2012–13 Lake Erie Monsters AHL 27 14 12 1 1540 77 1 3.00 .899
2012–13 Colorado Avalanche NHL 1 0 0 0 49 2 0 2.45 .920
2013–14 Lake Erie Monsters AHL 36 15 15 3 2060 91 4 2.65 .909
2013–14 Colorado Avalanche NHL 1 0 1 0 40 3 0 4.50 .833
2014–15 Lake Erie Monsters AHL 16 7 5 1 809 43 0 3.19 .900
2014–15 Fort Wayne Komets ECHL 4 3 1 0 245 20 0 4.90 .823
2015–16 Kärpät Liiga 33 18 4 9 1922 63 2 1.97 .920 3 1 1 149 4 0 1.61 .931
2016–17 Kärpät Liiga 16 1 7 5 821 33 1 2.41 .913
2017–18 HC Sparta Praha ELH 28 15 10 3 1580 62 1 2.35 .918 3 0 3 170 10 0 3.53 .870
2018–19 Vaasan Sport Liiga 30 9 9 9 1691 93 0 3.10 .895
Liiga totals 107 34 34 23 5821 253 4 2.60 .909 5 1 3 265 9 0 2.04 .921
NHL totals 2 0 1 0 89 5 0 3.36 .884

InternationalEdit

Year Team Event Result GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV%
2009 Finland WJC17 10th 3 0 3 0 153 16 0 6.27 .792
2011 Finland WJC 6th 1 0 0 0 20 0 0 0.00 1.000
2012 Finland WJC 4th 5 3 2 0 310 13 1 2.52 .937
Junior totals 9 3 5 0 483 29 1 3.60 .920

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "2010 Avalanche Draft picks". Colorado Avalanche. 26 June 2010. Retrieved 26 June 2010.
  2. ^ "International Goalies Final Rankings" (PDF). 8 April 2010. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
  3. ^ "Ilves will rely increasingly on their own youth" (in Finnish). Ilves. 13 July 2010. Retrieved 23 August 2010.
  4. ^ "Colorado Avalanche signs three Goaltending prospects". Denver Post. 11 May 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2012.
  5. ^ "Practice report: April 9". Colorado Avalanche. 9 April 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  6. ^ "Sami Aittokallio started in net for Avs on thursday night". Denver Post. 11 April 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  7. ^ "Kings outlast Avs in shootout". National Hockey League. 11 April 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  8. ^ "Aittokallio and Hakanpaa comple to compostion of Karpat" (in Finnish). Oulun Kärpät. 2 July 2015. Archived from the original on 3 July 2015. Retrieved 2 July 2015.
  9. ^ "Colorado Avalanche signs Sami Aittokallio". milehighsticking.com. 25 August 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  10. ^ "Goalie Aittokallio from Karpat coming to Praha" (in Czech). HC Sparta Praha. 13 May 2017. Retrieved 13 May 2017.
  11. ^ "Sport announce three signings" (in Finnish). Vaasan Sport. 13 April 2018. Retrieved 13 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Assat welcome former NHL goaltender Sami Aittokallio on two-year contract" (in Finnish). Ässät. 10 May 2019. Retrieved 10 May 2019.
  13. ^ "Finland – team roster". Hockey Canada. 25 December 2008. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  14. ^ "2009 World U-17 Challenge statistics". Hockey Canada. 5 January 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  15. ^ Tony Piscotta (27 April 2010). "Finland 2010 U18 World Championships review". HockeysFuture.com. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  16. ^ "U18: Gold again for USA". International Ice Hockey Federation. 23 April 2010. Archived from the original on 17 October 2012. Retrieved 24 August 2010.
  17. ^ "World Juniors update". Colorado Avalanche. 5 January 2011. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  18. ^ "Slovaks easy prey for Finns". International Ice Hockey Federation. 31 December 2010. Archived from the original on 19 October 2012. Retrieved 5 May 2011.
  19. ^ "Sweden breaks Finnish hearts". IIHF.com. 3 January 2012. Archived from the original on 26 January 2013. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  20. ^ "Best players of each team selected by coaches" (PDF). International Ice Hockey Federation. 5 January 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2012.

External linksEdit