SUNRISE, Fla. – The Colorado Avalanche Hockey Club selected forward Mikko Rantanen with the 10th overall pick in the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft held tonight at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla.
Rantanen, 18, was the No. 1 rated international skater in NHL Central Scouting’s final rankings for the 2015 draft. He recorded 28 points (9g/19a) in 56 games for TPS in the Finnish Elite League (Liiga) last season while serving as an alternate captain. The Nousiainen, Finland, native also played for the TPS junior club during the 2014-15 playoffs, helping the squad win the league championship with 14 points (6g/8a) in seven contests. Rantanen was given Best Player honors by the league for his postseason success.
The 6-foot-4, 211-pound right wing played for Finland at the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship in Toronto/Montreal, recording four goals in five games during the tournament.
Rantanen’s international experience also includes representing his nation at the 2014 Under-18 World Championship. In addition, he tallied seven points (2g/5a) in five games at the 2014 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge and led Finland with seven points (3g/4a) in five games at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament.
NHL Central Scouting’s Goran Stubb says of Rantanen: “He’s a physically strong power forward with very good playmaking abilities, smart, active and involved on every shift. He has very good speed and quickness for a big man and plays with authority. He’s difficult to check, protects the puck well and has good hands.”
Rantanen is the first Finnish player drafted by the Avalanche since goaltender Sami Aittokallio in 2010 (107th overall).
The NHL Draft resumes tomorrow (Saturday, June 27) with rounds 2-7 beginning at 8 a.m. MT on the NHL Network.