Legends of Hockey -- NHL Player Search -- Player -- Ville Nieminen
Born in Tampere, Finland, Ville Nieminen played with the local Tappara club for several years and was taken 78th overall by the Colorado Avalanche in the 1997 NHL Entry Draft.

A member of Finland's 1997 World Junior team, Nieminen came to North America in 1997-98 and spent most of the next three years apprenticing with Colorado's AHL affiliate in Hershey. The hard working forward scored 14 goals in 2000-01 and contributed ten points in 23 post-season contests as Colorado won the second Stanley Cup in franchise history. Late in the 2001-02 season he was sent to the Pittsburgh Penguins as part of the package for veteran defenceman Darius Kasparaitis. A member of Finland's Olympic in 2002, Nieminen, known as a tireless worker, spent parts of two seasons with the Penguins before being acquired by the Chicago Blackhawks in the summer of 2003.

Nieminen's stay in the Windy City was short lived as he was dealt to the Calgary Flames in the latter stages of the 2003-04 season. Upon his arrival with the Flames, the gritty Nieminen was a key contributor in the club's run to the 2004 Stanley Cup final. Despite Nieminen's strong play, the Flames lost a hard-fought seven game series to the eventual Cup champions from Tampa Bay.

Comming off a heartbreaking loss in the Stanley Cup final, Nieminen was a member of Finland's World Cup of Hockey team in the summer of 2004 and in the summer of 2005 was acquired by the New York Rangers. Upon his arrival with the Rangers, Nieminen continued to be a tenacious forward and went on to represent his homeland at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy, helping the club capture a silver medal.

Despite his strong play for the Ranges, Nieminen was dealt to the San Jose Sharks just prior to the NHL trading deadline. Nieminen would see action in 30 games and continue to aggravate his opponents with the Shakrs before being dealt to the St. Louis Blues alongside Jay Barriball and two draft picks for Bill Guerin.


REGULAR SEASON PLAYOFFS
Season Club League GP G A TP PIM +/- GP G A TP PIM
1993-94 Tappara Tampere U18 Fin-U18 29 13 20 33 66 5 1 2 3 0
1994-95 Tappara Tampere U18 Fin-U18 15 14 18 32 68 7 2 16 18 22
1994-95 Tappara Tampere Jr. Fin-Jr. 16 11 21 32 47
1994-95 Tappara Tampere Finland 16 0 0 0 0
1995-96 Tappara Tampere Jr. Fin-Jr. 20 20 23 43 63
1995-96 Tappara Tampere Finland 4 0 1 1 8
1995-96 KooVee Tampere Finland-2 7 2 1 3 4
1996-97 Tappara Tampere Jr. Fin-Jr. 2 2 7 9 2
1996-97 Tappara Tampere Finland 49 10 13 23 120 3 1 0 1 8
1996-97 Finland WJC-A 6 2 5 7 2
1997-98 Hershey Bears AHL 74 14 22 36 85 +6
1998-99 Hershey Bears AHL 67 24 19 43 127 +1 3 0 1 1 0
1999-00 Colorado Avalanche NHL 1 0 0 0 0 0
1999-00 Hershey Bears AHL 74 21 30 51 54 -11 9 2 4 6 6
2000-01 Colorado Avalanche NHL 50 14 8 22 38 +8 23 4 6 10 20
2000-01 Hershey Bears AHL 28 10 11 21 48 -2
2001-02 Colorado Avalanche NHL 53 10 14 24 30 +1
2001-02 Finland Olympics 4 0 1 1 2 -1
2001-02 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 13 1 2 3 8 -2
2002-03 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 75 9 12 21 93 -25
2003-04 Chicago Blackhawks NHL 60 2 11 13 40 -15
2003-04 Calgary Flames NHL 19 3 5 8 18 +6 24 4 4 8 55
2004-05 Finland W-Cup 2 0 0 0 0
2004-05 Tappara Tampere Finland 26 14 13 27 32 8 2 4 6 12
2005-06 New York Rangers NHL 48 5 12 17 53 +10
2005-06 Finland Olympics 8 0 1 1 4 +1
2005-06 San Jose Sharks NHL 22 3 4 7 10 -3 11 0 2 2 24
2006-07 San Jose Sharks NHL 30 1 1 2 14 -7
2006-07 St. Louis Blues NHL 14 0 0 0 29 -1
2007-08 IF Malmo Redhawks Sweden-2 34 9 15 24 124 10 2 4 6 10
2008-09 Tappara Tampere Finland 55 21 20 41 82 3 3 2 5 2
2009-10 Tappara Tampere Finland 50 15 14 29 142 9 3 3 6 16
2010-11 Sibir Novosibirsk KHL 53 12 23 35 62 4 1 1 2 0
2011-12 Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk KHL 6 1 0 1 4
2011-12 Dynamo Riga KHL 16 0 1 1 14
2012-13 Tappara Tampere Finland 57 22 28 50 132 15 3 3 6 41
2013-14 Tappara Tampere Finland 55 7 15 22 115 17 3 3 6 12
2014-15 Lukko Rauma Finland 50 4 10 14 28 13 0 3 3 26
NHL Totals 385 48 69 117 333 58 8 12 20 99


Traded to Pittsburgh by Colorado with Rick Berry for Darius Kasparaitis, March 19, 2002. Signed as a free agent by Chicago, July 29, 2003. Traded to Calgary by Chicago for Jason Morgan and Calgary's 6th round pick (Joseph Fallon) in 2005 NHL Draft, February 24, 2004. Signed as a free agent by Tappara Tampere (Finland), July 22, 2004. Signed as a free agent by NY Rangers, August 4, 2005. Traded to San Jose by NY Rangers for San Jose's 3rd round pick (later traded to Anaheim - Anaheim selected John DeGray) in 2006 NHL Draft, March 8, 2006. Traded to St. Louis by San Jose with Jay Barriball and New Jersey's 1st round pick (previously acquired, St. Louis selected David Perron) in 2007 NHL Draft for Bill Guerin, February 27, 2007. Officially announced his retirement, April 19, 2015.
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