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Blue Jackets sign Veini Vehvilainen

Club's 2018 sixth round pick led Liiga in wins, goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts in 2018-19

by Staff @BlueJacketsNHL /

The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed goaltender Veini Vehvilainen to a two-year entry level contract, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. Vehvilainen was selected by the team in the sixth round, 173rd overall, at the 2018 NHL Draft.

Vehvilainen, 22, posted a 25-8-5 record, 1.58 goals-against average (GAA), .933 save percentage (SV%) and six shutouts in 38 games with Karpat in Finland's top professional league (Liiga) in 2018-19. He led the league in wins, GAA, SV% and shutouts. The netminder also registered a postseason league-best 1.47 GAA and four shutouts with a 11-6 record and .939 SV% to help Karpat advance to the championship final.

The Jyvaskyla, Finland native has gone 64-30-21 with a 1.83 GAA, .926 SV% and 13 shutouts in 119 career Liiga games with Karpat, Sport and JYP since 2015. He captured the Urpo Ylonen Award as the league's best goaltender and was named to the Liiga All-Star Team after finishing second in GAA and SV%, third-T in wins and sixth-T in shutouts with a 20-5-8 record, 1.89 GAA, .925 SVV% and four shutouts in 35 appearances with Karpat in 2017-18. He then helped the club capture the league championship with an 11-4 mark, 1.57 GAA, .933 SV% and three shutouts in 17 postseason outings.

The 6-1, 183-pound goaltender has represented Finland at several international appearances. He made his men's debut at the 2019 IIHF World Championships, helping the country captured gold. Vehvilainen also competed at the 2016 (gold) and 2017 IIHF World Junior Championships and 2015 IIHF World Under-18 Championships (silver).

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