Ville Leino

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Ville Leino
Born (1983-10-06) October 6, 1983 (age 31)
Savonlinna, Finland
Height 6 ft 1 in (185 cm)
Weight 190 lb (86 kg; 13 st 8 lb)
Position Left Wing
Shoots Left
KHL team
Former teams
Dinamo Riga
Ilves
HPK
Jokerit
Detroit Red Wings
Philadelphia Flyers
Buffalo Sabres
KHL Medveščak Zagreb
Kloten Flyers
NHL Draft Undrafted
Playing career 2002–present

Ville Leino (born October 6, 1983) is a Finnish professional ice hockey forward currently playing with Dinamo Riga in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL). He has also previously played in the National Hockey League (NHL) for the Detroit Red Wings, Philadelphia Flyers and Buffalo Sabres.

Playing career[edit]

Finland[edit]

At age 17, Leino started playing for his hometown hockey team SaPKo in the Suomi-sarja. He was then recruited to the SM-liiga by Ilves, and later moved on to HPK, where he led the team in scoring in the 2005–06 season when HPK won their first SM-liiga championship.

In 2007, Leino was signed by Jokerit, where he was switched from centre to wing. In his first season with the team, he broke the club record for most points in the regular season when he surpassed Timo Sutinen's record of 73.[1] He went on to finish second in scoring, and won the Lasse Oksanen trophy for the best player during the regular season in the SM-liiga.[2]

North America[edit]

On May 10, 2008, Leino signed a one-year contract with the NHL's Detroit Red Wings.[3][4] Due to the Red Wings' salary cap issues, however, Leino was assigned to the team's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins. Then-Red Wings Head Coach Mike Babcock commented that Leino was the "best player" he had ever sent to the minors.[5] Ville was eventually recalled from the Griffins on January 29, 2009.[6]

In the first period of his NHL debut on January 31, 2009, Leino scored a goal against goaltender José Théodore in a 4–2 loss to the Washington Capitals. Leino is one of the few players that have scored a goal in their first NHL appearance.[7]

Leino signed a one-way, two-year extension with the Red Wings on July 6, 2009.

On February 6, 2010, Leino was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for Norwegian defenceman Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and a fifth-round draft pick in 2011.[8] Leino had two goals and two assists in 14 games with the Flyers during the regular season. He then began the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs out of the lineup as a healthy scratch, but injuries to Simon Gagné and Jeff Carter forced Leino into action. Forming the most offensively-productive line in the playoffs alongside Daniel Brière and Scott Hartnell, Leino scored seven goals and 14 assists for 21 points in 19 games, tying the rookie record for most points in the Stanley Cup playoffs held by Dino Ciccarelli.[9]

On March 12, 2011, during the 2010–11 regular season, Leino recorded his first career hat-trick against the Atlanta Thrashers. On April 24, during the first round of the 2011 playoffs against the Buffalo Sabres, Leino scored the game-winning goal in overtime of Game 6 of the series to bring Philadelphia even with Buffalo, three games apiece. He finished the playoffs with three goals and two assists as the Flyers were ultimately swept in the Eastern Conference Semifinals by the eventual Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.

Leino became an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2011 season, whereupon he signed a six-year, $27 million contract with Buffalo on July 1, 2011.[10] His performance during the 2011–12 season, however, was much maligned, as he scored just eight goals with 17 assists during 71 games, failing to live up to the expectations of his recently-signed contract. Continuing sub-par play in the 2012–13 and 2013–14 seasons (he failed to score a single goal in the latter) prompted incoming Head Coach Ted Nolan to bench Leino near the end of the 2013–14 season, leading to speculation that the Sabres would buy out his contract at the end of the season. On June 17, in the off-season, the Sabres indeed placed Leino on unconditional waivers for the purpose of a compliance buyout.[11]

Return to Europe[edit]

As an unrestricted free agent again, Leino attended the Boston Bruins training camp for the 2014–15 season on a player tryout offer, but was eventually released from the team on September 29. He returned to Europe in signing a one-year contract with Croatian based Kontinental Hockey League club, KHL Medveščak Zagreb, on October 12, 2014. After scoring 15 points in 28 games in Zagreb, Leino left to sign in the Swiss league for the remainder of the campaign with the Kloten Flyers of the National League A on February 13, 2015.

On July 24, 2015, Leino made a return to the KHL in signing a one-year contract with Latvian club, Dinamo Riga of the KHL.[12]

International play[edit]

Leino made his international debut for Finland on the 2006–07 Euro Hockey Tour.

Awards[edit]

Records[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2000–01 SaPKo Suomi-sarja 2 0 0 0 16
2001–02 SaPKo Suomi-sarja 15 6 6 12 4
2002–03 Ilves SM-l 23 1 1 2 0
2003–04 Ilves SM-l 54 9 15 24 26 7 1 1 2 4
2004–05 Ilves SM-l 56 8 11 19 32 7 1 0 1 2
2005–06 HPK SM-l 56 12 31 43 65 13 3 9 12 4
2006–07 HPK SM-l 50 11 29 40 73 8 1 9 10 31
2007–08 Jokerit SM-l 55 28 49 77 18 14 8 11 19 8
2008–09 Detroit Red Wings NHL 13 5 4 9 6 7 0 2 2 0
2008–09 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 57 15 31 46 18 10 3 10 13 10
2009–10 Detroit Red Wings NHL 42 4 3 7 6
2009–10 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 13 2 2 4 4 19 7 14 21 6
2010–11 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 81 19 34 53 22 11 3 2 5 0
2011–12 Buffalo Sabres NHL 71 8 17 25 16
2012–13 Buffalo Sabres NHL 8 2 4 6 6
2013–14 Buffalo Sabres NHL 58 0 15 15 10
2014–15 KHL Medveščak Zagreb KHL 28 7 8 15 28
2014–15 Kloten Flyers NLA 4 0 1 1 0
Liiga totals 294 69 136 205 214 49 14 30 44 49
NHL totals 286 40 79 119 70 37 10 18 28 6

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Leino breaks points record for Jokerit" (in Finnish). jatkoaika.com. 2007-03-28. Retrieved 2012-04-15. 
  2. ^ "Jokerit's Ville Leino receives Lasse Oksanen trophy". Liiga. 2007-04-01. Retrieved 2012-04-15. 
  3. ^ "Red Wings Sign Leino From Finnish Elite League". The Canadien Press. TSN.ca. Retrieved February 1, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Leino signs 1-year contract with the Detroit Red Wings". redwings.nhl.com. May 10, 2008. Retrieved November 10, 2008. 
  5. ^ "Heres the deal: Ericsson,Helm and Leino sent down". detroitfreepress.com. October 7, 2008. Retrieved February 2, 2009. 
  6. ^ "Red Wings recall Ville Leino, Aaron Downey, as Brad Stuart placed on IR". mlive.com. January 29, 2009. Retrieved February 2, 2009. 
  7. ^ "Ovechkin takes over as Capitals extend Wings' skid to five". cbssportline.com. January 31, 2009. Retrieved February 2, 2009. 
  8. ^ "RED WINGS TRADE LEINO TO FLYERS FOR TOLLEFSEN". TSN. February 6, 2010. Retrieved February 6, 2010. 
  9. ^ "Stanley Cup Final Game 6 pre-game notes". nhl.com. June 9, 2010. Retrieved June 10, 2010. 
  10. ^ "NHL Free Agent Tracker". The Sports Network. Retrieved July 1, 2011. 
  11. ^ "Sabres place Ville Leino on waivers for purpose of buyout". The Sports Network. 2014-06-14. Retrieved 2014-06-14. 
  12. ^ "Dinamo signs Finnish striker Ville Leino" (in Latvian). Dinamo Riga. 2015-07-24. Retrieved 2015-07-24. 
  13. ^ "Liiga All-Stars announced" (in Finnish). Liiga. 2008-02-01. Retrieved 2008-02-01. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Cory Murphy
Winner of the Lasse Oksanen trophy
2007–08
Succeeded by
Juuso Riksman