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Veini Vehviläinen

Veini Vehviläinen (born 13 February 1997) is a Finnish professional ice hockey goaltender. He is currently playing with the Cleveland Monsters in the American Hockey League (AHL) while under contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was selected in the sixth round, 173rd overall, by the Blue Jackets in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft.

Veini Vehviläinen
Born (1997-02-13) 13 February 1997 (age 22)
Jyväskylä, Finland
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 183 lb (83 kg; 13 st 1 lb)
Position Goaltender
Catches Left
NHL team (P)
Cur. team
Former teams
Columbus Blue Jackets
Cleveland Monsters (AHL)
JYP Jyväskylä
Vaasan Sport
Oulun Kärpät
National team  Finland
NHL Draft 173rd overall, 2018
Columbus Blue Jackets
Playing career 2015–present

Playing careerEdit

Vehviläinen began playing as a youth within JYP Jyväskylä, playing in the junior ranks, he impressively backstopped the under 20 team in the Jr. A SM-liiga as a 16-year old in the 2013–14 season.

Vehviläinen mades his professional debut in the Mestis with JYP-Akatemia in the 2014–15 season, before stepping up to the Liiga with JYP in the following 2015–16 season.

On 18 April 2017, Vehviläinen left JYP and secured a two-year contract with Oulun Kärpät.[1]

Establishing himself as the youngest starting goaltender in the Liiga, Vehviläinen quick ascension as the Liiga's best goaltender was realised in the 2017–18 season with Kärpät. He finished second in Goals against average and Save percentage, finishing with 20 wins in 35 games. He helped Kärpät capture the Kanada-malja championship, posting 11 wins and 3 shutouts in 17 playoff games. He was named to the Liiga All-Star Team and captured the Urpo Ylönen trophy as the league's best goaltender.[2]

After his selection by the Columbus Blue Jackets, 173rd overall, in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, Vehviläinen returned to play with Oulun Kärpät for the 2018–19 season. In backstopping the league leading Oulun Kärpät, Vehviläinen continued his stellar play leading the league in GAA and SV% while also posting a Liiga best 25 wins and 6 shutouts. He helped Oulun return to the Championship finals, leading all goaltender with a 1.47 GAA and 4 shutouts. He finished with a 11-6 record before falling to HPK.

On 4 June 2019, Vehviläinen at the conclusion of his contract with Kärpät agreed to a two-year, entry-level contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets.[3]

International playEdit

Medal record
Ice hockey
Representing   Finland
World Championships
  2019 Slovakia
World U18 Championships
  2015 Switzerland
World Junior Championships
  2016 Finland

Vehviläinen represented Finland at the 2015 IIHF World U18 Championships, where played seven games, posting a 1.65 goals against average and a .949 save percentage, to backstop Team Finland to a silver medal. He was named to the 2015 IIHF World U18 Championship All-Star Team as the tournament's best goaltender.

At the 2019 IIHF World Championship Vehviläinen played one game against United States in the group stage. Finland went on to win the tournament earning Vehviläinen the gold medal.[4]

Awards and honoursEdit

Award Year
Liiga
All-Star Team 2018
Urpo Ylönen trophy 2018 [2]
Kanada-malja (Oulun Kärpät) 2018
Best GAA (1.58) 2019
Best SVS% (.923) 2019
International
WJC18 Silver Medal 2015 [5]
WJC18 All-Star Team 2015 [6]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Oulun announce new signings" (in Finnish). Oulun Kärpät. 18 April 2017. Retrieved 18 April 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Vehvilainen honored at Liiga's award ceremony". mtvuutiset.fi (in Finnish). 2 May 2018. Retrieved 2 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Blue Jackets sign Veini Vehvilainen to an entry-level contract". Columbus Blue Jackets. 4 June 2019. Retrieved 4 June 2019.
  4. ^ "Finland defeats Canada for Gold Medal at World Championship". The Sports Network. 26 May 2019. Retrieved 26 May 2019.
  5. ^ "NHL Draft Watch: Plenty of European sleepers rise at U18 championship". Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  6. ^ "IIHF announces U18 All-Star Team" (PDF). International Ice Hockey Federation. 21 May 2015. Retrieved 21 June 2015.[permanent dead link]

External linksEdit