Sami Aittokallio

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Sami Aittokallio
Sami Aittokallio Lake Erie 2013.jpg
Aittokallio with Lake Erie Monsters during 2013–14 AHL season.
Born (1992-08-06) 6 August 1992 (age 25)
Tampere, Finland
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 172 lb (78 kg; 12 st 4 lb)
Position Goaltender
Catches Left
ELH team
Former teams
HC Sparta Praha
Ilves
Colorado Avalanche
Oulun Kärpät
NHL Draft 107th overall, 2010
Colorado Avalanche
Playing career 2010–present

Sami Aittokallio (born 6 August 1992) is a Finnish professional ice hockey goaltender currently under contract with HC Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga (ELH). He has formerly played with the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League (NHL)

Playing career[edit]

Aittokallio was selected in the fourth round, 107th overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft.[1] Despite ranked as the number one European Goalie before the draft, he was the seventh goaltender taken.[2]

In the 2009–10 season, Aittokallio made his debut in the SM-liiga as a 17-year-old playing in one game for Ilves. As well as representing Ilves in junior, Aittokallio spent a portion of the season on loan with Lempäälän Kisa in the Mestis league. On 12 April 2010, Aittokallio signed a two-year contract extension to remain with Ilves, his original team as a youth.[3] In each season, he continued to split the year between Ilves youth team, LeKi and in the 2010–11 SM-liiga season, he played a career high 16 games for 5 wins.

After fulfilling his junior eligibility and his commitment to Ilves, Aittokallio was signed to a three-year entry level contract with the Avalanche on 11 May 2012.[4]

Aittokallio playing in Finland.

After 26 games with the Monsters, Aittokallio received his first NHL recall to the Avalanche during the lockout shortened 2012–13 season, to fill the back-up position after an injury to starting goaltender Semyon Varlamov on 9 April 2013.[5] On 11 April 2013, he made his NHL debut against the Los Angeles Kings, becoming the youngest since Marc Denis to start for the Avalanche.[6] Aittokallio failed to complete the game after suffering from dehydration with the game tied midway through the third period, and was replaced in the eventual shootout loss by veteran Jean-Sébastien Giguère.[7]

In the 2014–15 season, Aittokallio suffered from injury and indifferent form, playing with the Monsters and the Fort Wayne Komets of the ECHL.

Despite being tendered a qualifying offer by the Avalanche, Aittokallio opted to return to Finland to further his development in signing a two-year contract with Liiga club, Oulun Kärpät on 2 July 2015.[8] Later in the off-season on 25 August 2015, it was announced that Aittokallio agreed to a one-year contract to keep within Avalanche organization, with a European clause allowing the continuance of his contract with Kärpät.[9]

After two seasons with Kärpät, Aittokallio left the club and Finland in signing a one-year deal with Czech club, HC Sparta Praha of the ELH on May 13, 2017.[10]

International play[edit]

Medal record
Representing  Finland
Men's ice hockey
IIHF World U18 Championships
Bronze medal – third place 2010 Belarus

Aittokallio was first selected to represent Finland at the 2009 World U-17 Hockey Challenge tournament organised by Hockey Canada.[11] With an understrength team, Aittokallio mirrored the Finnish team and went winless in three games for the tournament to finish tenth out of ten.[12] Touted for his hockey intelligence, good reflexes and athleticism, Aittokallio was selected to be first choice goaltender for Finland at the 2010 World Under-18 Championships in Minsk, Belarus.[13] Sami, however, missed the tournament after suffering an ankle injury as Finland went on to defend their Bronze medal against Russia.[14]

Aittokallio was selected to serve as the backup goaltender to Joni Ortio for Finland at the 2011 World Junior Championships.[15] He made a solitary appearance in relief for Ortio, playing the third period of a 6–0 victory over Slovakia on 31 December 2010.[16]

Aittokallio returned for the 2012 World Junior Championships, and was Finland's starting goaltender, with Christopher Gibson serving as his back-up. In Finland's semifinal against Sweden, Aittokallio made 56 saves, but ultimately, Finland lost 2–3 in a shootout. Aittokallio was named Finland's player of the game with his impressive performance.[17] Following that loss, they played in the bronze medal game against Canada, which they lost 0–4. However, Finland recorded their best performance in the World Juniors since 2006 with their 4th-place exit and Aittokallio was subsequently selected in Finland's top three players for the tournament.[18]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP W L T/OT MIN GA SO GAA SV% GP W L MIN GA SO GAA SV%
2009–10 Ilves SM-l 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0.00 1.000
2010–11 Ilves SM-l 16 5 8 0 790 36 1 2.73 .909 2 0 2 116 5 0 2.57 .911
2011–12 Ilves SM-l 11 1 6 0 596 28 0 2.82 .910
2012–13 Lake Erie Monsters AHL 27 14 12 1 1540 77 1 3.00 .899
2012–13 Colorado Avalanche NHL 1 0 0 0 49 2 0 2.45 .920
2013–14 Lake Erie Monsters AHL 36 15 15 3 2060 91 4 2.65 .909
2013–14 Colorado Avalanche NHL 1 0 1 0 40 3 0 4.50 .833
2014–15 Lake Erie Monsters AHL 16 7 5 1 809 43 0 3.19 .900
2014–15 Fort Wayne Komets ECHL 4 3 1 0 245 20 0 4.90 .823
2015–16 Kärpät Liiga 33 18 4 9 1922 63 2 1.97 .920 3 1 1 149 4 0 1.61 .931
2016–17 Kärpät Liiga 16 1 7 5 821 33 1 2.41 .913
Liiga totals 77 25 25 14 4130 160 4 2.33 .914 5 1 3 265 9 0 2.04 .921
NHL totals 2 0 1 0 89 5 0 3.36 .884

International[edit]

Year Team Event Result GP W L T MIN GA SO GAA SV%
2009 Finland WJC17 10th 3 0 3 0 153 16 0 6.27 .792
2011 Finland WJC 6th 1 0 0 0 20 0 0 0.00 1.000
2012 Finland WJC 4th 5 3 2 0 310 13 1 2.52 .937
Junior totals 9 3 5 0 483 29 1 3.60 .920

References[edit]

  1. ^ "2010 Avalanche Draft picks". Colorado Avalanche. 2010-06-26. Retrieved 2010-06-26. 
  2. ^ "International Goalies Final Rankings" (PDF). 8 April 2010. Retrieved 20 September 2010. 
  3. ^ "Ilves will rely increasingly on their own youth" (in Finnish). Ilves. 2010-07-13. Retrieved 2010-08-23. 
  4. ^ "Colorado Avalanche signs three Goaltending prospects". Denver Post. 2012-05-11. Retrieved 2012-05-11. 
  5. ^ "Practice report: April 9". Colorado Avalanche. 2013-04-09. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  6. ^ "Sami Aittokallio started in net for Avs on thursday night". Denver Post. 2013-04-11. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  7. ^ "Kings outlast Avs in shootout". National Hockey League. 2013-04-11. Retrieved 2013-04-11. 
  8. ^ "Aittokallio and Hakanpaa comple to compostion of Karpat" (in Finnish). Oulun Kärpät. 2015-07-02. Retrieved 2015-07-02. 
  9. ^ "Colorado Avalanche signs Sami Aittokallio". milehighsticking.com. 2015-08-25. Retrieved 2015-08-25. 
  10. ^ "Goalie Aittokallio from Karpat coming to Praha" (in Czech). HC Sparta Praha. 2017-05-13. Retrieved 2017-05-13. 
  11. ^ "Finland – team roster". Hockey Canada. 2008-12-25. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  12. ^ "2009 World U-17 Challenge statistics". Hockey Canada. 2009-01-05. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  13. ^ Tony Piscotta (2010-04-27). "Finland 2010 U18 World Championships review". HockeysFuture.com. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  14. ^ "U18: Gold again for USA". International Ice Hockey Federation. 2010-04-23. Retrieved 2010-08-24. 
  15. ^ "World Juniors update". Colorado Avalanche. 2011-01-05. Retrieved 2011-05-05. 
  16. ^ "Slovaks easy prey for Finns". International Ice Hockey Federation. 2010-12-31. Retrieved 2011-05-05. 
  17. ^ "Sweden breaks Finnish hearts". IIHF.com. 2012-01-03. Retrieved 2012-01-05. 
  18. ^ "Best players of each team selected by coaches" (PDF). International Ice Hockey Federation. 2012-01-05. Retrieved 2012-01-07. 

External links[edit]