Jani Rita

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Jani Rita
JaniRita2.jpg
Born (1981-07-25) July 25, 1981 (age 32)
Helsinki, FIN
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 209 lb (95 kg; 14 st 13 lb)
Position Left Wing
Shoots Left
SM-liiga team
Former teams
Jokerit
Edmonton Oilers
HPK
Pittsburgh Penguins
National team  Finland
NHL Draft 13th overall, 1999
Edmonton Oilers
Playing career 1998–present

Jani Rita (born July 25, 1981 in Helsinki, Finland) is a Finnish professional ice hockey winger currently playing with Jokerit of the Finnish SM-liiga.[1]

Playing career[edit]

Despite limited NHL experience, Rita has played extensively in the American Hockey League and in the SM-liiga in his native Finland. Rita started his hockeycareer in a youth team of EKS (Espoon Kiekkoseura). He played his first seasons of pro hockey for Jokerit, Helsinki, and was drafted 13th overall in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft by the Edmonton Oilers.

Rita played for HPK in the SM-liiga during the 2004–05 NHL lockout, winning the bronze medal. That season he was awarded the Raimo Kilpiö trophy, and led the league in scoring during the playoffs. He also represented Finland at the 2005 World Hockey Championship, earning one assist. He had signed with Jokerit for the 2005–06 season with a contractual clause enabling him to return to the NHL. When the Oilers offered him a one-year contract in August 2005, Rita signed on to return to North America.

Although once considered a premier prospect at the NHL level, Rita's slow development showed cause for concern to Oilers management. On January 26, 2006, Rita was traded along with Cory Cross, to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Dick Tärnström. He finished the season with just 10 points in 51 games.

It was announced on 2 May 2006 that Rita was to depart Pittsburgh to return to his original club, Jokerit on a one-year contract. He was the best goal scorer of SM-liiga in 2006–07 season.

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1998–99 Jokerit SM-l 41 3 2 5 39
1999–00 Jokerit SM-l 49 6 3 9 10 11 1 0 1 0
2000–01 Jokerit SM-l 50 5 10 15 18 5 0 0 0 2
2001–02 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 76 25 17 42 32 15 8 4 12 0
2001–02 Edmonton Oilers NHL 1 0 0 0 0
2002–03 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 64 21 27 48 18 23 3 4 7 2
2002–03 Edmonton Oilers NHL 12 3 1 4 0
2003–04 Toronto Roadrunners AHL 64 17 24 41 18 1 1 0 1 0
2003–04 Edmonton Oilers NHL 2 0 0 0 0
2004–05 HPK SM-l 56 21 18 39 12 10 7 4 11 4
2005–06 Edmonton Oilers NHL 21 3 0 3 4
2005–06 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 30 3 4 7 6
2006–07 Jokerit SM-l 56 32 20 52 28 10 6 1 7 2
2007–08 Jokerit SM-l 37 10 10 20 16
2008–09 Jokerit SM-l 58 14 16 30 12 5 0 2 2 0
2009–10 Jokerit SM-l 58 13 15 28 26 3 0 2 2 27
2010–11 Jokerit SM-l 8 2 0 2 2 7 0 1 1 2
2011–12 Jokerit SM-l 60 17 14 31 20 10 0 2 2 4
2012–13 Jokerit SM-l 50 11 5 16 6 6 1 1 2 2
SM-l totals 523 135 113 248 189 81 21 17 38 43
NHL totals 66 9 5 14 10

Awards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Rita signs two-year contract extension" (in Finnish). Jokerit. 2012-12-01. Retrieved 2012-12-01. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Michael Henrich
Edmonton Oilers first round draft pick
1999
Succeeded by
Alexei Mikhnov
Preceded by
Kimmo Kuhta
Winner of the Raimo Kilpiö trophy
2004–05
Succeeded by
Esa Pirnes
Preceded by
Tony Salmelainen
Winner of the Aarne Honkavaara trophy
2006–07
Succeeded by
Janne Pesonen