Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Vesa Viitakoski
Vesa Viitakoski demonstrated soft hands and an adept scoring touch while playing in his homeland of Finland and the Calgary Flames expected him to give their offense a boost when he traveled overseas to join their organization in 1993.

The big left winger was a point-a-game guy for their American Hockey League farm team that year, and did manage to score a goal and 2 assists in eight games with Calgary. However, his second season saw his production slip and his overall play did not progress as the Flames brass had hoped. Viitakoski got into 10 more games with the big club, and again produced three points. In 1995-96 he suited up for five more games with the Flames, but was unable to score and spent the rest of his time back in the AHL. The Flames had seen enough to know that Viitakoski wasn't going to pan out for them and shipped him to Colorado in a trade for Paxton Shulte on March 19th, 1996.

Viitakoski never got a look from the Avalanche, instead he finished out that year - and his North American career - in the minors. For the 1996-97 campaign, Vittakoski signed on with HV-71 Jonkoping, a Swedish club team, then headed home to Finland for the following season. Back in Finland he joined Ilves Tampere and settled in as one of the club's steady consistent wingers.

REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1986-87 SaiPa Lappeenranta Jr. Fin-Jr. 1 1 1 2 2
1987-88 SaiPa Lappeenranta U18 Fin-U18 7 20 5 25 2
1987-88 SaiPa Lappeenranta Jr. Fin-Jr. 20 21 11 32 16
1988-89 SaiPa Lappeenranta Jr. Fin-Jr. 23 22 32 54 8
1988-89 SaiPa Lappeenranta Finland 11 4 1 5 6
1988-89 Finland EJC-A 6 8 7 15 6
1989-90 SaiPa Lappeenranta Jr. Fin-Jr. 9 9 8 17 6
1989-90 SaiPa Lappeenranta Finland 44 24 10 34 8
1989-90 Finland WJC-A 7 6 1 7 2
1990-91 Tappara Tampere Finland 41 17 23 40 14 3 2 0 2 4
1990-91 Finland WJC-A 7 6 5 11 2
1991-92 Tappara Tampere Finland 44 19 19 38 39
1991-92 Tappara Tampere Finland-Q 4 3 1 4 0
1991-92 Finland WC-A 8 2 3 5 6
1992-93 Tappara Tampere Finland 48 27 27 54 28
1992-93 Finland WC-A 6 1 0 1 6
1993-94 Calgary Flames NHL 8 1 2 3 0 0
1993-94 Saint John Flames AHL 67 28 39 67 24 5 1 2 3 2
1994-95 Saint John Flames AHL 56 17 26 43 8 4 0 1 1 2
1994-95 Calgary Flames NHL 10 1 2 3 6 -1
1995-96 Calgary Flames NHL 5 0 0 0 2 -1
1995-96 Saint John Flames AHL 48 18 29 47 48
1995-96 Cornwall Aces AHL 10 7 6 13 4 8 1 3 4 2
1996-97 HV 71 Jonkoping Sweden 50 17 12 29 24 5 1 1 2 2
1997-98 Ilves Tampere Finland 47 11 19 30 12 9 2 4 6 4
1998-99 Ilves Tampere Finland 53 17 5 22 18 4 2 1 3 2
1999-00 Ilves Tampere Finland 53 20 20 40 28 3 1 0 1 4
2000-01 Ilves Tampere Finland 55 27 20 47 10 9 3 3 6 6
2001-02 Ilves Tampere Finland 56 34 26 60 12 3 0 0 0 0
2001-02 Finland WC-A 9 1 1 2 2 -5
2002-03 Ilves Tampere Finland 53 18 12 30 22
2003-04 Ilves Tampere Finland 56 21 15 36 14 7 2 2 4 2
2004-05 Brynas IF Gavle Sweden 47 12 10 22 14
2004-05 Brynas IF Gavle Sweden-Q 10 3 4 7 0
2005-06 Brynas IF Gavle Sweden 13 1 2 3 16
2005-06 Ilves Tampere Finland 29 6 4 10 16 4 0 1 1 2
2006-07 Ilves Tampere Finland 56 17 12 29 38 7 1 0 1 2
2007-08 Ilves Tampere Finland 55 14 12 26 26 9 3 3 6 4
2008-09 Karpat Oulu Finland 50 11 9 20 49 14 4 2 6 4
2009-10 Karpat Oulu Finland 52 9 10 19 22 10 2 0 2 0
NHL Totals 23 2 4 6 8


Finnish Rookie of the Year (1990) Traded to Colorado by Calgary for Paxton Schulte, March 19, 1996.
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