Everyone knows about the quality of players that come out of Finland at any given time. What people might not know is the quality of goaltenders that the country of Finland produces. These are the top Finland goalies that have an unreal save percentage.
Some people, who are older, might reminisce about the old days of Jari Kurri or Teemu Selänne. The real story coming out of Finland lately though is the goaltending. For whatever reason the tiny Scandinavian country is able to produce top notch tenders.
Finland even has some pretty good prospects in the Junior system. Recently the Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen of the Sudbury Wolves is first in a number of categories. This is encouraging for any young Finn goalie coming through the ranks.
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When you look historically at the goaltending though it is no surprise. We outlined below the top Finland goalies that have an unreal save percentage.
Tuukka Rask .922
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Tukka Rask, who was born in Savonlinna, Finland in 1987, leads all Finlanders in goal with a remarkable career save percentage of 0.922. Tukka Rask has played for the Boston Bruins since the 2006 – 2007 season.
Rask, who is no stranger to making big saves, has a stellar career record of 262 wins in 487 games played. Tukka Rask also has some hardware to show off. In the 2013-2014 season he won the Vezina Trophy and in 2010-2011 season.
Tukka is most likely a future Hall of Famer.
Antti Raanta .921
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Antti Raanta was born in Rauma, Finland in 1989.
Antti Raanta has been in the NHL since 2013. The net minder has played on 3 different teams. Those teams are the Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers and the Arizona Coyotes.
Antti Raanta has had a great career. He hasn’t played in the number of games as some would have liked but he still played 153 games. In those 153 games Antti Raanta has 73 wins, 46 losses and 15 overtime losses.
Juuse Saros .920 * Only Played 76 Games
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Juuse Saros has only played in 76 games in the NHL and all with the Nashville Predators. The Predators have really gone deep into Finland to mine for goalies. Saros is a 23 year old sensation and won’t be a backup long.
Saros was born in Forssa, Finland and was drafted in the 4th round of the 2013 Entry Draft. Saros has played in 76 games and has a career save percentage of .920. In the 76 games Saros has played he has 36 wins, 23 losses and 12 overtime losses.
Saros as he backs up the next Finlander on our list, is one to watch.
Pekka Rinne .918
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Pekka Rinne, the Nashville Predators goaltending sensation. Pekka carried the Preds in 2017 all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.
The 36 year old net minder was born in Kempele, Finland. Pekka was eventually drafted in 2004 by the Nashville Predators in the 8th round. Pekka Rinne has an outstanding NHL career with the Predators playing in 615 games.
Pekka Rinne has carried the Predators in net with 335 wins, 186 losses and 69 overtime losses. Pekka Rinne also won the Vezina Trophy in 2017-2018.
Niklas Bäckström .914
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Niklas was born in Helsinki, Finland in 1978. In Niklas Backstrom’s career he played a total of 413 games 4 of which were with Calgary. Backstrom played a majority of his career with the Minnesota Wild.
Out of Backstrom’s 413 games in the NHL he has 196 wins, 144 losses and 50 overtime losses. Backstrom also won the William M. Jennings trophy in 2006-2007.
Miikka Kiprusoff .912
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Miikka Kiprusoff was born in Turku, Finland in 1976. Kipper as he was called in Calgary, played in 623 games for the San Jose Sharks and the Calgary Flames.
Miikka Kiprusoff exploded into the headlines in 2004 as he backstopped the Flames to Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final. Kiprusoff was the San Jose Sharks 5th round pick in the 1995 entry draft.
Kiprusoff has a total of 319 wins, 213 losses, 7 ties and 64 overtime losses. Miikka had a very good career but no better regular season than the 2005-2006 season where he won the Vezina Trophy and the William M. Jennings Trophy.
Kari Lehtonen .912
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Kari Lehtonen was also born in Helsinki, Finland. The 1983 born Lehtonen was drafted in the 2002 entry draft by Atlanta in the 1st round. Being a first round pick for a goaltender is very uncommon.
Lehtonen played for Atlanta for 5 years before spending the rest in Dallas for the Stars. Lehtonen has played in 649 games and has a record of 310 wins, 233 losses and 67 overtime losses.
Antti Niemi .912
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Antti Niemi rounds out the list of goalies that were born in Finland and have over a .910 save percentage.
Antti Niemi was born in Vantaa, Finland and played in 464 games. A fun fact about Antti Niemi is that he was a former Zamboni driver. Antti Niemi won a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks in 2009-2010.
Niemi was also the first goalie to get a playoff shutout in the playoffs for the Blackhawks since the great Ed Balfour. Antti also recorded a second shutout in the same playoff series to become the first to do that since Esposito in 1974.
Antti Niemi’s record in the NHL was 242 wins, 140 losses and 57 overtime losses in 464 games.