Aleksi Saarela

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Aleksi Saarela
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Born (1997-01-07) 7 January 1997 (age 22)
Helsinki, Finland
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 198 lb (90 kg; 14 st 2 lb)
Position Centre
Shoots Left
NHL team
Former teams
Chicago Blackhawks
Lukko
Ässät
Carolina Hurricanes
NHL Draft 89th overall, 2015
New York Rangers
Playing career 2013–present

Aleksi Saarela (born 7 January 1997) is a Finnish professional ice hockey forward. He is currently under contract as a prospect to the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was originally selected 89th overall in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft by the New York Rangers.

Playing career[edit]

Saarela made his SM-liiga debut playing with Lukko during the 2012–13 SM-liiga season.[1] On 28 February 2016, the rights to Saarela, along with a 2016 second-round draft pick and a 2017 second-round draft pick, were traded from the New York Rangers to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Eric Staal.[2][3]

In the 2015–16 season, Saarela led Porin Ässät with 20 goals and finished third in overal scoring with 33 points in 51 games. On 20 April 2016, he signed a one-year contract to return to his original club, Lukko, on a one-year contract.[4] Under two months later, on 13 June 2016, Saarela was then signed to a three-year entry-level contract with the Carolina Hurricanes.[5]

On 3 January 2018, Saarela was recalled by the Carolina Hurricanes from the Charlotte Checkers prior to a game with the Pittsburgh Penguins.[6] However, it was short lived as he was sent back down days later without playing a game.

He made his NHL debut during game five of the Hurricanes' first round playoff series against the Washington Capitals.[7]

On June 24, 2019, Saarela was traded by the Hurricanes, along with Calvin de Haan, to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Gustav Forsling and Anton Forsberg.[8]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2012–13 Lukko Jr. A 22 8 10 18 6 10 2 6 8 2
2012–13 Lukko SM-l 3 1 1 2 0
2013–14 Lukko Jr. A 17 6 16 22 8
2013–14 Lukko Liiga 12 0 2 2 2
2014–15 Ässät Liiga 51 6 6 12 18 2 0 0 0 0
2015–16 Ässät Liiga 51 20 13 33 14
2016–17 Lukko Liiga 49 15 13 28 10
2016–17 Charlotte Checkers AHL 9 6 4 10 2 5 0 0 0 2
2017–18 Charlotte Checkers AHL 69 25 18 43 8 8 2 1 3 2
2018–19 Charlotte Checkers AHL 69 30 24 54 12 17 7 8 15 4
2018–19 Carolina Hurricanes NHL 1 0 0 0 0
Liiga totals 166 42 35 77 44 2 0 0 0 0
NHL totals 1 0 0 0 0
Medal record
Representing  Finland
Ice hockey
World Junior Championships
Gold medal – first place 2016 Finland
IIHF World U18 Championships
Silver medal – second place 2015 Switzerland

International[edit]

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2013 Finland U17 7th 5 2 2 4 2
2014 Finland WJC18 6th 2 1 0 1 0
2015 Finland WJC18 2nd, silver medalist(s) 7 3 5 8 6
2016 Finland WJC 1st, gold medalist(s) 7 4 3 7 4
Junior totals 21 10 10 20 12

Awards and honors[edit]

Award Year
AHL
Calder Cup (Charlotte Checkers) 2019 [9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2012–13 Lukko player statistics". Eliteprospects.com. 1 April 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
  2. ^ "Canes Acquire Saarela, Picks for Eric Staal". Carolina Hurricanes. 28 February 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Rangers Acquire Eric Staal from Carolina". Blueshirts United. 28 February 2016. Archived from the original on 1 March 2016. Retrieved 28 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Aleksi Saarela returns home" (in Finnish). Lukko Rauma. 20 April 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Canes agree to terms with Aleksi Saarela". Carolina Hurricanes. 13 June 2016. Retrieved 13 June 2016.
  6. ^ Williams, Terrell (3 January 2018). "Canes Recall Aleksi Saarela From Charlotte". NHL.com. Retrieved 10 March 2018.
  7. ^ DeCock, Luke (20 April 2019). "Aleksi Saarela's NHL debut a Carolina Hurricanes first". Raleigh News & Observer. Retrieved 21 May 2019.
  8. ^ "Blackhawks acquire de Haan, Saarela from Hurricanes". Chicago Blackhawks. 24 June 2019. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  9. ^ "Check and Mate! Charlotte wins Calder Cup". American Hockey League. 8 June 2019. Retrieved 8 June 2019.

External links[edit]