2022 Men’s Olympic Hockey Team Finland Final Roster

After the NHL and NHLPA announced that NHL players would not be going to the 2022 Olympics, many wondered who would fill the void left by names such as Sebastian Aho, Patrik Laine, and Roope Hintz. Finland as a country has always had a storied history when it comes to hockey. Some of the top stars, past and present, have come out of Finland. So even without the NHL players, they still had a lot of big names to choose from across Europe and Russia.

2022 Olympics Beijing 2022 Finland
2022 Olympics Beijing 2022 Finland (The Hockey Writers)

On Jan 20, Finland announced the players who would represent Leijonat in China. The team will be comprised of 18 Kontinental (KHL) players, five National League (NLA) players, and two players from Finnish Liiga. 

Finland will be playing in Group C and had been ranked as third seed going into the 2022 Olympics. They will be coached by Jukka Jalonen who took Team Finland to bronze in the 2010 Winter Olympics, a silver medal in the 2021 World Championship, and two World Championship gold medals in 2011 and 2019.

Forwards

In the forward lines are some names that are familiar to North American fans. Those being Valtteri Filppula, Leo Komarov, and Markus Granlund. 

Valtteri Filppula

Filppula played in the NHL from the 2005-06 season until the 2020-21 season, splitting his time between the Detroit Red Wings, Tampa Bay Lightning, Philadelphia Flyers, and New York Islanders.

Valtteri Filppula - Islanders
Valtteri Filppula, New York Islanders, September 17, 2018 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

He won the Stanley Cup with the Red Wings in 2008. He played 1,056 NHL games scoring 197 goals and 333 assists in that time. Filppula was on the bronze medal winning 2010 Finland Olympic team. 

Leo Komarov 

Komarov spent 10 seasons playing in the NHL until he signed a two-year contract with SKA St. Petersburg on Nov 15, 2021. Komarov played in the 2014 Olympics, three World Champions, and the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. He was also an NHL All-Star in 2016. Komarov spent 491 games playing in the NHL scoring 63 goals and 107 assists. With Team Finland he has one gold medal from the 2011 World Championship, two silver medals from the 2014 and 2016 World Championships, and was on the bronze medal winning 2014 Finland Olympic team. 

Markus Granlund 

Granlund is the brother of Nashville Predators forward, Mikael Granlund. He spent seven seasons in the NHL divided between the Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers. Granlund played 335 NHL games scoring 58 goals and 43 assists. He has played in two World Junior Championships in 2012 and 2013. 

Forward Roster

Marko Anttila (Jokerit-KHL), Markus Granlund (Salavat Yulaev Ufa- KHL), Miro Aaltonen (Vityaz Podolsk-KHL), Sakari Manninen (Salavat Yulaev Ufa- KHL), Niko Ojamäki (HC Vityaz- KHL), Teemu Hartikainen (Salavat Yulaev Ufa- KHL), Joonas Kemppainen (SKA St. Petersburg- KHL), Leo Komarov (SKA St. Petersburg- KHL), Hannes Björninen (Jokerit- KHL), Saku Mäenalanen (Oulun Kärpät- Liiga), Toni Rajala (EHC Biel- NL) , Iiro Pakarinen (Jokerit- KHL), Valtteri Filppula (Genève-Servett- NL), Harri Pesonen (SCL Tigers- NL) 

Defencemen  

Out of the defencemen listed on the roster, two will be names known to the North American fan base. Those players being Sami Vatanen and Mikko Lehtonen

Sami Vatanen

Vatanen was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in 2009 but did not play his first NHL game until the 2012-13 season. Over the years, he played for the Ducks, New Jersey Devils, Carolina Hurricanes, and Dallas Stars for a total of 473 NHL games.

Sami Vatanen, NHL, Anaheim Ducks
Sami Vatanen (Photo by Andy Martin Jr.)

Vatanen represented Finland in the 2014 Olympic Games as well as the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. Vatanen won the bronze medal at the 2014 Olympics.

Mikko Lehtonen

Lehtonen may have only played 26 NHL games, but he was part of two gold medal winning Finland teams. His first gold medal came in 2014 at the World Junior Championship and the second came in 2019. In 2018, he represented Finland in the PyeongChang Olympics. 

Defencesive Roster

Ville Pokka (Avangard Omsk- KHL), Juuso Hietanen (HC Ambrì-Piotta- NL), Niklas Friman (Jokerit- KHL), Petteri Lindbohm (EHC Biel- NL), Mikko Lehtonen (SKA St. Petersburg- KHL), Sami Vatanen (Genève- Servette HC- NL), Valtteri Kemiläinen (HC Vityaz- KHL), Atte Ohtamaa (Oulun Käpät- Liiga) 

Goaltenders

The three goaltenders chosen by Team Finland are all players known in the KHL. Two have experience in North America and one, Harri Säteri played in the NHL.

Harri Säteri

Säteri spent two years playing in North America spending two seasons in the AHL with the Springfield Falcons and Grand Rapids Griffins. In that time, he was called up to the NHL and played nine games with the Florida Panthers.

Harri Sateri Grand Rapids Griffins
Harri Sateri, Grand Rapids Griffins (Jenae Anderson / The Hockey Writers)

Säteri was also a part of the 2021 World Championship team that took the silver medal along with fellow goaltender, Juho Olkinoura. 

Goaltender Roster

Harri Säteri (Sibir Novosibirsk- KHL), Frans Tuohimaa (HC Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk- KHL), Juho ‘Jussi’ Olkinoura (Metallurg Magnitogorsk- KHL) 

Team Finland By the Numbers

As mentioned, while many of these players did not spend a lot of time playing in North America, they have had a lot of experience on the world stage and have played together in those competitions.

NHL Experience: 11 players (Granlund, Hartikainen , Kemppainen, Komarov , Mäenalanen, Pakarinen, Pesonen, Pokka, Lindbohm, Lehtonen, Vatanen, Säteri) 

AHL Experience: 15 players (Granlund , Aaltonen, Hartikainen , Kemppainen, Komarov , Mäenalanen, Rajala, Pakarinen, Pesonen, Pokka, Lindbohm, Lehtonen, Vatanen, Säteri, Tuohimaa)

Olympic Experience: Nine players(Filppula- 2010, Komarov, Hietanen, Vatanen- 2014 , Anttila, Hietanen, Manninen, Hartikainen, Kemppainen, Lehtonen, Ohtamaa- 2018)

World Cup of Hockey Experience: Four players (Komarov, Filppula, Pokka, Vatanen) 

IIHF World Championship Experience: 22 players (Hietanen, Komarov, Ohtamaa, Anttila, Pokka, Vatanen, Kemppainen, Lehtonen, Säteri, Manninen, Mäenalanen, Lindbohm, Ojamäki, Rajala, Pesonen, Björninen, Pakarinen, Olkinoura, Pakarinen, Filppula, Harikainen, Aaltonen)

Many of these players have had multiple years of experience playing in the World Championships. Juuso Hietanen has played in six World Championships and nine players have appeared in at least one World Championship. Out of the 25-man roster, seven won the gold medal with the team in 2019 and then won the silver in 2021.

Related: Guide to the 2022 Men’s Olympic Tournament

Even though the team may not have been able to include NHL players, they still have a roster stacked with players who have experience and many who have won medals with Team Finland already. For those who played in previous Olympics, they are hungry to get that gold, and with this team, they could very easily do it. When Finland hits the ice, they rarely disappoint and with the names selected, and they will be sure to give fans a show in February.



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