August 18, 1980 |
|Height||6 ft 4 in (193 cm)|
|Weight||220 lb (100 kg; 15 st 10 lb)|
HC Dynamo Minsk
|NHL Draft||43rd overall, 1998
Ossi Reijo Juhani Väänänen (born August 18, 1980) is a Finnish former professional ice hockey defenseman. He was the captain of Jokerit of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL), with whom he has previously won two silver medals as runner-up for the Kanada-malja in 2000 and 2005 in the Finnish Liiga. He was originally drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes and has additionally played for the Colorado Avalanche, Philadelphia Flyers and Vancouver Canucks in the NHL.
After a junior career with Jokerit's under-18 and junior teams, Väänänen was drafted by the Phoenix Coyotes in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft as their second-round pick, 43rd overall. He remained in Finland to play with Jokerit in the professional SM-liiga for two seasons, winning a silver medal with the team in 2000 as runner-up for the Kanada-malja, the SM-liiga's championship trophy. Väänänen then joined the Coyotes in 2000–01 and recorded 16 points in his rookie season. In his fourth season with the Coyotes in 2003–04, he was dealt at the trade deadline to the Colorado Avalanche along with Chris Gratton and a 2nd round draft choice (Paul Stastny) in 2005 in exchange for Derek Morris and Keith Ballard.
Due to the subsequent NHL lockout, Väänänen returned to Jokerit in 2004–05 and helped his former team to another silver medal, losing the Finnish championship to Kärpät. Returning to the NHL in 2005–06, he played two more seasons with the Avalanche before going back to Europe to play in the Swedish Elitserien for Djurgårdens IF during the 2007–08 season.
On July 1, 2008, Väänänen signed a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Flyers. However, late in the 2008–09 season, on February 27, 2009, he was placed on waivers and claimed by the Vancouver Canucks. The move by the Flyers, which also included waiving Glen Metropolit, was precipitated by the imminent return of forward Danny Briere from injury, requiring the club to dump salary to remain under the cap. On August 2, 2009, Väänänen joined national teammate Ville Peltonen signing a one-year contract with HC Dynamo Minsk of the Kontinental Hockey League. Väänänen appeared in 52 games and recorded 6 assists as Minsk failed to make the postseason in 2009–10.
On May 3, 2010, Väänänen returned to Finland signing a contract with his original club, Jokerit, of the SM-liiga.
As a junior, Väänänen competed for Finland at the European Junior Championships in 1998 and World Junior Championships in 1999 and 2000. At the senior level, he has represented team Finland in five World Championships, earning a silver medal in 2001 and a bronze medal in 2008. In 2011 he won a gold medal. In World Cup 2004, Väänänen contributed an international career high 3 points in 4 games, helping Finland to the World Cup final, where they were defeated by Team Canada. He made his Winter Olympics debut at the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City. Four years later, he was named to the Finnish team for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, where he earned a silver medal despite not appearing in any games.
- Won the Finnish Junior Player of the Year Award in 2000.
Regular season and playoffs
- June 27, 1998 - Drafted in the second round, 43rd overall, by the Phoenix Coyotes at the 1998 NHL Entry Draft.
- March 9, 2004 - Traded to the Colorado Avalanche from the Phoenix Coyotes along with Chris Gratton and a 2nd round choice (Paul Stastny) in 2005 for Derek Morris and Keith Ballard
- December 1, 2004 - Signed as a free agent by Jokerit.
- July 1, 2008 - Signed to a one-year contract by the Philadelphia Flyers.
- February 27, 2009 - Put on waivers by the Philadelphia Flyers, claimed by the Vancouver Canucks.
- "Avalanche acquire Salo, Gratton". CBC. 2004-03-09. Retrieved 2009-03-25.
- "Ossi Vaananen's NHL Profile". National Hockey League. Retrieved 2009-02-27.
- "Flyers lose Metropolit to Montreal, Vaananen to Vancouver". CBC. 2009-02-27. Retrieved 2009-02-27.
- "Ossi Vaananen returns" (in Finnish). Jokerit. 2010-05-03. Retrieved 2010-05-03.
- "Vaananen decides to end fine career" (in Finnish). Jokerit. 2016-07-13. Retrieved 2016-07-13.