The Finnish season concluded Tuesday with Tappara Tampere taking the championship in a 2-1 Game 6 win over HIFK. It’s Tappara’s first championship since 2003. Their young star Patrik Laine was named the winner of the 2016 Jari Kurri Trophy for playoff MVP.
Laine is a 2016-draft eligible forward who has been tearing up the Finnish league at a very young age.
Through 18 playoff games, Laine posted 10 goals and 15 points. He was tied for third overall in points and led Tappara. His 10 goals led all players in the postseason. HIFK’s Corey Elkins came in second with seven goals.
Laine, a Tampere native, turned 18 just last week and though he ranks behind Auston Matthews in most 2016 draft rankings, placing him at the second overall prospect in this summer’s draft, he has almost a full year less pro experience than Matthews.
Here’s a look at Laine’s 10th goal of the postseason, which helped Tappara to today’s 2-1 win.
Patrik Laine scores his 10th playoff goal in Game 6 of the Liiga Final… pic.twitter.com/He5H1leYzB
— Robert Söderlind (@HockeyWebCast) April 26, 2016
Here’s some nice work from Laine in Game 6 that didn’t result in a goal.
And here are the first nine goals Laine scored during the Finnish postseason.
Patrik Laine's 9 Playoff Goals…
(All-Time Finnish record for most goals in the playoffs is 12) pic.twitter.com/IuhrM8hadH
— Robert Söderlind (@HockeyWebCast) April 23, 2016
During the regular season Laine scored 17 goals and 33 points through 46 games, but was notably improving as the season moved forward. He also had two goals and four points through eight Champions Hockey League games for Tappara.
The 6-foot-4 forward was a key piece of Finland’s gold medal win at the 2016 World Junior Championship when he and fellow 2016 draft eligible forward Jesse Puljujarvi set records with an impressive offensive performance that ended in Puljujarvi becoming the youngest player to win MVP of the World Junior Championship.
In seven games there, Laine scored seven goals and 13 points.
Laine is expected to join the Finnish National Team for the upcoming World Championship being held in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.