Born October 17, 1984 (age 27) in Espoo, Finland
Defenseman for the Chicago Blackhawks
I thought I’d profile Sami after what he did in the Blue Jackets game. Hockey is in Sami’s blood – his dad Jussi was once captain for Jokerit, where Sami played for four years beginning in 2003. His points totals kept rising with each season, but injury kept him to 10 points in 26 games in the 2006-07 season. After that last season in Finland, he signed a two-year entry level contract with the Washington Capitals, who’d picked him in the 2004 draft.
He spent the majority of his two years in the AHL with the Hershey Bears, posting over 40 points each season while being called up to the Caps for 7 games each season. He also played for Finland in the 2008 World Championships and earned a bronze medal. Then in 2009 he was traded to the Phoenix Coyotes for a 2010 draft pick, and in that season he played for the Finnish Olympic team and got another bronze. The next year he was sent to Columbus at the trade deadline in February for Rostislav Klesla and Dane Byers, and he only had five assists with the Blue Jackets.
Last June he was traded to Chicago, and I think we’ve taken good care of him. He’s been a healthy scratch for much of the season, but now that we really need him, he’s pulled through with his first point and goal as a Blackhawk. Give him a little time – I think he’ll be around for a while.