Vesa Viitakoski

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Vesa Viitakoski
Viitakoski Vesa Ilves 2.jpg
Born (1971-02-13) February 13, 1971 (age 47)
Lappeenranta, FIN
Height 6 ft 2 in (188 cm)
Weight 212 lb (96 kg; 15 st 2 lb)
Position Left Wing
Shot Left
Played for SM-l
SaiPa
Tappara
Ilves
Kärpät
NHL
Calgary Flames
SEL
HV71
Brynäs IF
NHL Draft 32nd overall, 1990
Calgary Flames
Playing career 1988–2010

Vesa Ilmari Viitakoski (born February 13, 1971 in Lappeenranta, Finland) is a professional ice hockey player. As of December, 2009, he is playing for Kärpät in the Finnish SM-liiga.

Career[edit]

Viitakoski started his professional career in his home town, Lappeenranta, playing for two seasons in the local club, SaiPa. When SaiPa was relegated at the end of the 1990 SM-liiga season, Viitakoski moved to Tappara Tampere. After three seasons there and a strong performance in the national team, especially in the 1992 IIHF World Championships from which Team Finland came home with silver medals, he signed with the Calgary Flames.

All in all, Viitakoski appeared in 23 NHL games with the Flames in the 1993–94, 94–95 and 95-96 seasons, scoring two goals and providing four assists. He also played 198 AHL games as a member of the Saint John Flames and Cornwall Aces squads, with a point total of 72+106=178. Despite this consistent strong performance in the AHL he never broke through in the NHL; this has been attributed to disfavor by the then head coach Dave King.

Abandoning hope for an NHL career, Viitakoski returned to Europe to play for HV71 in the Swedish Elitserien during the 1996–1997 season.[1] After one season there he came back to Finland and Tampere, but not to Tappara but their local rival, Ilves. Since then, Viitakoski played in Ilves, except for one and a half seasons spent in Brynäs IF of the Elitserien, in 2004–05, until he signed with Kärpät in April 2008.

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1986–87 SaiPa Jr. Fin-Jr. 1 1 1 2 2
1987–88 SaiPa U18 Fin-U18 7 20 5 25 2
1987–88 SaiPa Jr. Fin-Jr. 20 21 11 32 16
1988–89 SaiPa Jr. Fin-Jr. 23 22 32 54 8
1988–89 SaiPa SM-l 11 4 1 5 6
1989–90 SaiPa Jr. Fin-Jr. 9 9 8 17 6
1989–90 SaiPa SM-l 44 24 10 34 8
1990–91 Tappara SM-l 41 17 23 40 14 3 2 0 2 4
1991–92 Tappara SM-l 44 19 19 38 39
1992–93 Tappara SM-l 48 27 27 54 28
1993–94 Calgary Flames NHL 8 1 2 3 0
1993–94 Saint John Flames AHL 67 28 39 67 24 5 1 2 3 2
1994–95 Calgary Flames NHL 10 1 2 3 6
1994–95 Saint John Flames AHL 56 17 26 43 8 4 0 1 1 2
1995–96 Calgary Flames NHL 5 0 0 0 2
1995–96 Saint John Flames AHL 48 18 29 47 48
1995–96 Cornwall Aces AHL 10 7 6 13 4 8 1 3 4 2
1996–97 HV71 SEL 50 17 12 29 24 5 1 1 2 2
1997–98 Ilves SM-l 47 11 19 30 12 9 2 4 6 4
1998–99 Ilves SM-l 53 17 5 22 18 4 2 1 3 2
1999–2000 Ilves SM-l 53 20 20 40 28 3 1 0 1 4
2000–01 Ilves SM-l 55 27 20 47 10 9 3 3 6 6
2001–02 Ilves SM-l 56 34 26 60 12 3 0 0 0 0
2002–03 Ilves SM-l 53 18 12 30 22
2003–04 Ilves SM-l 56 21 15 36 14 7 2 2 4 2
2004–05 Brynäs IF SEL 47 12 10 22 14
2005–06 Brynäs IF SEL 13 1 2 3 16
2005–06 Ilves SM-l 29 6 4 10 16 4 0 1 1 2
2006–07 Ilves SM-l 56 17 12 29 38 7 1 0 1 2
2007–08 Ilves SM-l 55 14 12 26 26 9 3 3 6 4
2008–09 Kärpät SM-l 50 11 9 20 49 14 4 2 6 4
2009–10 Kärpät SM-l 52 9 10 19 22 10 2 0 2 0
SM-l totals 803 296 244 540 362 82 22 16 38 34
SEL totals 110 30 24 54 54 5 1 1 2 2

International[edit]

Year Team Event   GP G A Pts PIM
1989 Finland EJC 6 8 7 15 6
1990 Finland WJC 7 6 1 7 2
1991 Finland WJC 7 6 5 11 2
1992 Finland WC 8 2 3 5 6
1993 Finland WC 6 1 0 1 6
2002 Finland WC 9 1 1 2 2
Junior totals 20 20 13 33 10
Senior totals 23 4 4 8 14

References[edit]

  1. ^ Kjell Nilsson (17 September 1996). "HV71 lilla Finland" (in Swedish). Svenska dagbladet. Retrieved 27 July 2016. 

External links[edit]