From The Hockey News:
JYP’s Sami Vatanen, 18, recently broke the Finnish SM-liiga rookie
defenseman points record when he scored his sixth goal and 28th point
of the season, one more than Tero Konttinen amassed playing for Pori
sst in 2006-07.
Vatanen, an Anaheim Ducks fourth-rounder
(106th overall) in 2009, is averaging 19:44 of ice time per game and
has emerged as an offensive force on the squad; he’s currently ranked
fifth in team scoring with 29 points in 51 games – 14 points ahead of
the next JYP defenseman.
“The whole season’s been a surprise,”
he said. “I didn’t think that I’d be playing a regular shift in the
SM-liiga, I thought I’d play a couple of games and then go back to
juniors or the Mestis (Finnish Div. 1) farm team. I’ve been playing in
a much bigger role than I expected.
“I don’t know what really
happened a few years ago, all of a sudden my development was just off
the charts, or straight up. Not sure why, but I hope I’ll keep
developing like this.”