13 August 1984 |
|Height||6 ft 1 in (185 cm)|
|Weight||201 lb (91 kg; 14 st 5 lb)|
|HC Kunlun Red Star
New Jersey Devils
Undrafted, Salmela's professional career started in the 2003–04 season with Finnish SM-liiga side Tappara, where he made his debut on 24 January 2004. His place was settled in Tappara for another year, but the next year he was transferred to Pelicans. In 2007, he moved back to Tappara.
Salmela was a member of Team Finland that won a bronze medal in the World Under-20 Championship. He made his debut for the senior national team in the 2008 IIHF World Championships held in Canada in 2008. On 22 May 2008, he signed a one-year, two-way contract with the New Jersey Devils of the NHL.
In the 2008–09 season, Salmela made his NHL and North American debut with New Jersey in the season opener on 10 October 2008, in a 2–1 win over the New York Islanders. However, Salmela spent the majority of his time with the Devils affiliate the Lowell Devils of the American Hockey League (AHL). On 2 March 2009, Salmela was traded by the Devils to the Atlanta Thrashers for Niclas Hävelid. In his second game with the Thrashers Salmela scored his first career NHL goal in a 5–1 win against the Washington Capitals on 16 March 2009.
On 4 February 2010, Salmela was traded back to the New Jersey Devils along with Ilya Kovalchuk for Johnny Oduya, Niclas Bergfors, Patrice Cormier and a 1st round draft pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Salmela scored only one goal in 2010-11, but it was a big one. On 12 March, he scored an overtime goal against Al Montoya to give the Devils a 3–2 victory over the New York Islanders. Salmela did not receive a qualifying offer from the Devils following the 2010–11 season, making him an unrestricted free agent. He signed a two-year contract with Avangard Omsk in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), reportedly for US$1.5 million per season, on 15 July 2011. When his contract was up at the end of the 2012-13 season, he moved to Sweden, penning a deal with Modo Hockey, before transferring to fellow SHL side HV71 during the 2013-14 campaign. In the following two years, he played for two more SHL clubs, Färjestad BK and Brynäs IF.
Awards and achievements
- 2007–08 SM-liiga Bronze Medal
- 2007–08 Juha Rantasila -palkinto (most goals for defender in SM-liiga)
Regular season and playoffs
|2008–09||New Jersey Devils||NHL||17||0||3||3||6||—||—||—||—||—|
|2009–10||New Jersey Devils||NHL||9||1||2||3||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|2010–11||New Jersey Devils||NHL||48||1||6||7||14||—||—||—||—||—|
|Junior int'l totals||7||1||2||3||6|
|Senior int'l totals||24||2||2||4||43|
- "Salmela joins New Jersey". (in Fin) yle.fi. 22 May 2008. Retrieved 22 May 2008.
- "Brodeur stops penalty shot, saves Devils in season opener". cbssportsline.com. 10 October 2008. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
- "Devils acquire veteran defender Hävelid". cbcsports.ca. 2 March 2009. Archived from the original on 4 March 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
- "Lehtonen saves career-high 49 shots in Thrashers' sixth straight win". cbssports.com. 16 March 2009. Retrieved 18 March 2009.
- "Thrashers ship Kovalchuk to Devils for players, 1st rounder". The Sports Network. 4 February 2010. Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
- "Anssi Salmela scores in overtime, surging Devils beat Islanders 3-2". The Hockey News. 2011-03-12. Retrieved 2013-05-13.
- Chere, Rich (27 June 2011). "Devils qualify Matt Corrente, Vladimir Zharkov, Matt Taormina, Mark Fraser; Alexander Vasyunov to play in Russia". The Star-Ledger (NJ.com). Retrieved 15 July 2011.
- "Ex-Devil Salmela signs with KHL's Avangard Omsk". 15 July 2011. Retrieved 15 July 2011.
- "Kunlun Red Star: First Press Conference". Retrieved 2016-07-08.