At five foot nine and only 158 pounds, Risto Siltanen was a stand-up defenceman who was very strong and hard to move. As a result, he was often referred to by his teammates as "The Littlest Hulk."
Siltanen began playing hockey in his native Finland in 1976 on his hometown team before representing his country at the World Junior Championships for the next two years. He was selected by the St. Louis Blues in the 1978 Amateur Draft but went on to sign with the Edmonton Oilers of the WHA, where he began playing in North America in the 1978-79 season.
As the Oilers were set to join the NHL, Siltanen was reclaimed by the Blues before the Expansion Draft of '79, only to be traded back to the Oilers, where he played for the next three seasons. The 1981-82 season was Siltanen's most productive in the NHL as he scored 63 points in as many games. He also represented Finland in the Canada Cup.
Siltanen was traded to the Hartford Whalers before the 1982-83 season and remained with the team until being traded midway through the 1985-86 season to the Quebec Nordiques. He played his last NHL season in 1986-87 and after two seasons of not playing Siltanen returned to Finland for the 1989-90 season. After five more years, he retired from the game, in 1997.