Defenseman Sami Vatenen was selected 104th overall in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft by the Ducks. He also was the highest-drafted Finnish player in KHL history, drafted 2nd overall in the 2010 KHL Junior Draft by HC Metallurg Novokuznetsk.
2007-08: In 35 games with JyP’s U20 squad, the D-man scored nine goals and 29 assists. He also competed with Finland’s national team at the U18 WJC, registering three assists in 6 games.
2008-09: He played 20 games with JYP in the U20 SM-Liiga, posting three goals and seven assists. Vatanen captained the Finnish entry in the U18 World Championships, winning a bronze medal in the process.
2009-10: Playing for JyP HT Jyvaskyla of the Finnish league, Vatanen posted 7 goals, 23 assists, 44 PIM, and 4 powerplay goals with a -1 rating. He also represented Finland at the WJC where he scored 2 goals and 3 assists in 6 games. At the end of the season, he skated for Finland at the World Cup but did not score any goals.
2010-2011: In his second season with JyP HT Jyvaskyla he scored 11 goals, 20 assists with 30 PIM. He also ended with an impressive +30 rating.
Vatanen is a great skater and can read the play very well. His ability to set up plays and keep the puck in the zone will make him a great offensive defenseman in the future. Vatanen has a very accurate shot and can pass the puck like a pro. His biggest disadvantage would be his size, standing at only 5’9″ and 159 pounds. That could create problems when it comes to chasing down the puck.
Definitely an exciting prospect that will be a great asset to the team. The Ducks need an offensive defenseman like they have in Visnosvky and Fowler.
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