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Red Wings Sign Finnish Goaltender Jussi Olkinuora

added 3:05pm on 6/16/22, Detroit release is below.

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today signed goaltender Jussi Olkinuora to a one-year contract.

Olkinuora, 31, completed his second season with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Kontinental Hockey League in 2021-22, holding a 20-10-2 record with a 2.45 goals-against average, 0.917 save percentage and three shutouts in 36 appearances. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound netminder also played in one postseason game as Metallurg Magnitogorsk reached the Gagarin Cup Final, falling to CSKA Moscow in seven games. Olkinuora has spent the last three seasons in the KHL between Admiral Vladivostok and Metallurg Magnitogorsk, accumulating a 50-30-10 mark with a 2.30 goals-against average, 0.927 save percentage and eight shutouts in 97 contests. Prior to arriving in Russia, Olkinuora split three seasons (2016-19) in Finland’s top professional league between SaiPa, JYP and Pelicans, owning a 58-31-13 record with a 2.26 goals-against average, 0.916 save percentage and 12 shutouts in 103 appearances. He won a Champions Hockey League title with JYP in 2017-18 and posted a playoff-best 0.946 save percentage for Pelicans the following campaign.

A native of Helsinki, Finland, Olkinuora captured a gold medal with Finland at the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, making one relief appearance as the backup to former Grand Rapids Griffins goaltender Harri Sateri. Olkinuora also won gold at the 2022 IIHF World Championship in Helsinki and Tampere, Finland, finishing with a perfect 8-0 record and a tournament-best 1.11 goals-against average along with a 0.948 save percentage and four shutouts in eight games. He was selected as the tournament’s MVP and top goaltender and was also named to the competition’s All-Star Team for the second consecutive year. Additionally, Olkinuora claimed a silver medal at the 2021 IIHF World Championship and a gold medal at the 2019 edition.

Originally signed by the Winnipeg Jets as an undrafted free agent on April 8, 2013, Olkinuora began his professional career with a three-year stint in North America. He made 21 appearances in the American Hockey League between the St. John’s Ice Caps and Manitoba Moose, recording a 7-6-2 mark with a 3.82 goals-against average, 0.879 save percentage and one shutout. In 96 ECHL games with the Ontario Reign and Tulsa Oilers, Olkinuora compiled a 55-29-9 record with a 2.61 goals-against average, 0.907 save percentage and a pair of shutouts. Prior to turning pro, Olkinuora played two seasons at the University of Denver from 2011-13, building a 22-14-8 record in 46 contests. He was named to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association All-Rookie team in 2011-12, and was selected to the WCHA All-Academic Team, WCHA Second All-Star Team and the NCAA West All-American Second Team after his sophomore season.

 
 
 

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Comments

SYF's avatar

I guess we’re not seeing Greisser back in net for the Wings at all next season.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 06/14/22 at 11:37 PM ET

SYF's avatar

Both Magnus Hellberg and Jussi Olkinuora are 31 year olds.

Posted by SYF from impossible and oddly communally possessive sluts on 06/14/22 at 11:39 PM ET

Avatar

I wonder if the idea is to let Hellberg and Olkinura
fight it out for #2 (assuming the former is signed)
and have the other start in GR mentoring Cossa?
Also wonder if they’ll bring back Brattstrom.
Clearly a proven veteran is needed in Grand Rapids to help get that
team in playoff position and mentor a younger man prospect.

The sense I got with Calvin Pickard, just based on a couple interviews,
is that he was a little offended people didn’t think he could be successful
filling in in NHL games. Does he see more opportunity as another org’s #3 ?

With Olkinura, in the gold medal game, he looked both pretty big in net and generally very calm positionally. Very calm and poised in general. Good gloves and held his ground well with pressure at his crease. I was very impressed but it was such a small sample, albeit against a pretty high-powered Team Canada. But I remember wondering: was he drafted? Does anyone still have his NHL rights?

Posted by lefty.30 on 06/15/22 at 03:38 AM ET

Avatar

I guess we’re not seeing Greisser back in net for the Wings at all next season.

Pretty sure we’re also not seeing this guy in net for the Wings next season.

Posted by GMoney on 06/15/22 at 08:19 AM ET

Paul's avatar

from Bob Duff of Detroit Hockey Now,

While he’s never played in the NHL, the 6-foot-2, 201-pound Olkinuora is familiar with the North American game. He spent two seasons with the NCAA Denver Pioneers and then four seasons from 2012-16 in the AHL with the St. John’s IceCaps and Manitoba Moose.

Olkinuora played for Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL the past two seasons.

The decision to add him is giving Detroit three pro goalies under contract. Olkinuora will likely compete for the job as backup to Alex Nedeljkovic in Detroit. If he’s not successful there, he’ll give the Wings a veteran pro to call upon with the AHL Grand Rapids Griffins. Victor Brattstrom, who played for GR last year, is the other Red Wings netminder with pro experience.

Last month, Olkinuora had originally agreed to a one-year deal with EHC Biel of the Swiss League, where his goaltending partner would’ve been Red Wings 2015 draftee Joren Van Pottelberghe.

more

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 06/15/22 at 09:58 AM ET

Avatar

If the Wings don’t in fact sign Hellberg, I wonder
if it means they’re holding out for a more proven NHL
1B type to tandem with Nedeljkovic.

Ned, Olkinura, and Brattstrom who seemed to have a pretty tough
time in his first season in NA, did mostly get better as he had to shoulder trying to get GR into the playoffs after Pickard went down, aren’t quite the depth a team wants to start with given how often goalies seem to be falling to injury in recent seasons (is the game quicker and more demanding on goalies’ joints?)

Haven’t seen any mentions of Pickard coming back.

Feel bad for Hellberg if signing in Detroit was his goal, but it’s hard to imagine Detroit would have offered him more than they did Olkinura, who is true has been red hot this year in international competition. Team Canada was all over him and he looked great.

Posted by lefty.30 on 06/15/22 at 10:40 PM ET

Paul's avatar

Added Detroit’s release on the signing to the post.

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 06/16/22 at 03:07 PM ET

Paul's avatar

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

The Wings took a look at Swedish goaltender Magnus Hellberg late in the season. He spent a couple weeks practicing with the team and won his only appearance, in the season finale in New Jersey on April 29. Hellberg wants to play in the NHL, but he has only made five career NHL appearances. The Wings need a proven NHL veteran to help Nedeljkovic, who buckled in the second half last season as a lack of depth forced the Wings to rely heavily on him. The free agent market (which begins July 13) could yield multiple options. Port Huron’s Jack Campbell (6-3, 207) took the Toronto Maple Leafs to Game 7 of the first round of the playoffs after playing 49 regular-season games; he’s 30, has played 135 NHL games and is coming off a $1.65 million contract. Casey DeSmith (6-0, 181) is 30, has played 96 games for the Pittsburgh Penguins over the past four seasons and is coming off a contract with a $1.25 million salary cap hit. Darcy Kuemper (6-5, 215) is 32 and has 299 career games to his credit and has been key to the Colorado’s Avalanche’s path to the Stanley Cup Final. He’s finishing up a two-year, $9 million contract.

more on today’s official signing of Jussi Olkinuora…

Posted by Paul from Motown Area on 06/16/22 at 04:20 PM ET

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Welcome to Abel to Yzerman, a Red Wing blog since 1977.  No other site on the internet has better-researched, fact-laden and better prepared discussions than A2Y.  Re-phrase: we do little research, find facts and stats highly overrated and claim little to no preparation.  There are 19 readers of A2Y. No more, no less. All of them, except maybe one, are juvenile in nature.  Reminding them of that in the comment section will only encourage them to prove that. Your suggestions and critiques are welcome: wphoulihan@gmail.com

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