Finland’s men’s national ice hockey team has never won Olympic Gold and never earns the recognition it deserves despite being ranked number 2 in the IIHF World Ranking. However, the Nordic nation has produced many top hockey players throughout its history including legends in the form of Jari Kurri. Coupled with a new wave of young Finnish talent and powerhouse goaltending, Finnish hockey looks great at the moment. Here is a look at the top 25 current Finnish hockey players in the world.
1- Tuukka Rask
Rask has produced a set of extraordinary goalie statistics the past few years as a member of the Boston Bruins. The 26 year-old is up there as one of the top goalies in the NHL and will be looking to backstop Team Finland in the 2014 Olympics.
The Vezina Trophy finalist had a fantastic 2013 campaign with the San Jose Sharks. The netminder is part of the long list of stellar Finnish goalies.
The Nashville Predators goalie had an off season in 2013 to his standards, but the 6 ft 5 monster will be looking to improve this upcoming campaign.
The 38 year-old has quietly defied the odds of his age to compete in the NHL. He picked up 29 points in 45 games last season as a defenseman on the Philadelphia Flyers and he will be looking to do much of the same next season.
Lehtonen is another lights-out Finnish goalie who is a starter in the NHL. The former second overall pick has regained his form after being traded to Dallas.
Saku’s younger brother has underperformed the past couple seasons after having a career season in 2010. However, the Minnesota Wild forward has loads of potential and can be a top-line center.
Filppula has provided reliable secondary scoring throughout his career, but the 29 year-old forward will have more chances to shine on the Tampa Bay Lightning next season
The 43 year-old has not only defied all odds by working wonders with his age, but he is also the face of Finnish hockey. He showed signs of being human in the NHL last season, but he is still a threat to be reckon with.
Although he is in his mid-30s, the Minnesota Wild netminder is proving the hockey world that he is definitey a starting goalie in today’s NHL.
10- Mikael Granlund
Although the international sensation had a disappointing season with the Minnesota Wild last season, the 21 year-old is still developing his North American game and is poised to be a top scorer for years to come.
Jokinen has played over 1000 games in his NHL career and will be looking to reach some milestones in 2013-14. The veteran can still pack a punch in the scoring department.
12- Tuomo Ruutu
He picked up a solid 9 points in 17 games last season, but the 30 year-old can do more than that. With a career-high of 57 points, he has the ability to be a top six forward.
13- Joni Pitkanen
The Carolina Hurricanes defenseman is very defensive and provides stability.
14- Ville Leino
After scoring 53 points in 2010-11, Leino has been a disappointment with the Sabres. However, after a solid stint last season, there is hope he can provide primary scoring again.
15- Sami Salo
The 38 year-old is another aging Finnish player proving people he can still play at a high level at a high age. The two-way defenseman is injury prone, but has a good slapshot.
16- Alexander Barkov Jr.
The 17 year-old scored 48 points in 53 games in the top SM-liiga. He will look to bring that success to the NHL.
17- Jussi Jokinen
The 30 year-old had more than a point-per-game pace with the Pittsbugh Penguins last season.
18- Karri Ramo
Ramo will be looking to replace Kiprusoff as the starter in Calgary after coming over from the KHL.
19- Jori Lehtera
Although never playing an NHL game, Lehtera has been outstanding in European Leagues.
20- Saku Koivu
The 38 year-old is well past his prime, but the veteran still does his share of point production and leadership.
21- Sean Bergenheim
The top-9 forward has been successful in the NHL, SM-liiga, and Swedish Hockey League throughout his career.
22- Toni Lydman
The veteran has provided the Anaheim Ducks with great reliablity in the back end.
23- Leo Komarov
Komarov provided solid grit with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2013.
After a solid NHL career, the forward has produced a great KHL career.
25- Jarkko Immonen
The all-round forward has been successful in the KHL.
Topics: Alexander Barkov, Antti Niemi, Finland, Hockey, Jari Kurri, Jussi Jokinen, Kimmo Timonen, Mikael Granlund, Mikko Koivu, Niklas Backstrom, Olli Jokinen, Pekka Rinne, Saku Koivu, Teemu Selanne, Tuomo Ruutu, Tuukka Rask, Valterri Filppula