Finland is the latest country to unveil its roster for the upcoming World Championships which get underway on Friday. While they have plenty of players in the NHL, this team primarily consists of players playing in leagues overseas. Their roster is as follows with NHL affiliations noted where applicable.
Anton Lundell (FLA)
Saku Maenalanen (CAR)
Valtteri Puustinen (PIT)
Arttu Ruotsalainen (BUF)
It’s a very inexperienced group internationally with no fewer than 14 players making their debuts at the Worlds. Among the notable names on the list is Maatta, a veteran of eight NHL seasons. He’s coming off of a particularly quiet year with the Kings as he had just four assists in 41 games while averaging just 16:26 per game, the lowest ATOI of his career. He should be in line for a much bigger role in this tournament. Ruotsalainen saw regular action down the stretch for Buffalo and on a team that struggled mightily to score, he wasn’t bad in that regard, notching five goals in 17 games while logging nearly 14 minutes per night, numbers that aren’t bad for a rookie.
On the prospect front in terms of those that haven’t made their NHL debut, Lundell is the name that stands out. The 12th-overall pick last fall, he averaged nearly a point per game in 26 contests with HIFK in the SM-liiga and was tied for third in scoring at the World Juniors. He looks like he will be a big part of Florida’s future. Puustinen was a seventh-rounder (203rd overall) back in 2019 to the Penguins and looks to have outperformed that draft slot already, finishing second in scoring with HIFK with 21 goals and 20 assists in 51 games which helped him earn an entry-level deal with the Penguins earlier this month.
Finland’s tournament gets underway next Saturday with a matchup against the United States.