North American Skater
Jyri
Niemi
POSITION: D
SHOOTS: Left
HEIGHT: 6' 2"
Weight: 192
Born: 06/15/1990
Mid Term Rank: 29
Nationality: Finnish
Club: Saskatoon
League: WHL

On his style of play:   I used to play forward -- it's been like four years since I became a defenseman.  I think I'm a really offensive defenseman and I skate well. 

 

On becoming a defenseman:   Four years ago, my coach told me to be a defenseman because I was big, could skate backwards and forwards -- he told me that I'm a new defenseman.  As I heard it and left the rink, I thought, ‘no way’.

 

On growing up with brothers:   Two of my brothers are playing hockey in Finland. Growing up, we used to play a lot of street hockey and used to have a lot of fights. 

 

On getting his start in hockey:   My dad took me to an outdoor rink when I was three years old.  I skated there for a year, just practicing and then the next year I went to the local team and played there -- that's how I got started.

 

On playing for Team Finland:   It's a huge thing to be selected for the Finnish national teams – Under-18, Under-17 and Under-16.  I hope I'll get selected and play on the World Junior Championships team -- that will be a huge thing for me.

 

On what motivates him:   The biggest thing is that I love winning and I like being in a group with great guys.

 

On his transition to the WHL:   When I first came here everybody told me that it's going to be a huge difference.  As soon as I got here, we had a great group of guys --  my billets are awesome.  It's been pretty easy for me.

 

On his thoughts about the Draft: I have to say I don't think about it at all.  When I play, I play for a team and we'll see what happens.

 

On his most memorable hockey moment:   My first national team game -- that is the thing that I want to never forget.  It was played in the U.S. and it was just full crowd and it was just great to be in the starting lineup and listening to the national anthems.   

 

On his first WHL game:  I kind of like to forget my first WHL game -- we lost.  But in the third game against Moose Jaw, I had a goal and two assists, got named first star and that was great.