Islanders general manager Garth Snow today announced multi-year contracts for Veli-Pekka Kautonen, who has been named Chief European scout, and four-time Islanders Stanley Cup-winner Anders Kallur, who is the franchise's primary scout in Sweden.
"It's great to have these two vital members of our scouting staff signed to multi-year deals," said Snow. "Vellu Kautonen is one of the brightest young scouts in the business, and Andy Kallur is a great Islander who has been a very effective scout for us for a long time. He has been highly instrumental in our drafting of European players such as Robert Nilsson."
The 36-year old Kautonen scouted for the Islanders in Finland the last two seasons and played a major role in the selection of 2006 second round pick Jesse Joensuu
, one of the best young players in the Finnish Elite League. A former draft pick of the Calgary Flames, Kautonen was a defenseman in Europe from 1988 - 2002, including 12 seasons in the Finnish Elite League, primarily with HIFK Helsinki. After his playing career, he scouted Finland for the St. Louis Blues before joining the Islanders' staff. In his new role, Kautonen will oversee the team's European scouting staff and monitor both prospects and veteran professionals in Finland.
The 54-year old Kallur played six seasons for the Islanders between 1979 - 1985. In those six seasons, the Islanders won four Stanley Cups (1980-83) and advanced to the Cup Final once (1984). As an Islanders scout for over a decade, Kallur has recommended prospects such as first round picks Sean Bergenheim (2002), Robert Nilsson (2003) and Petteri Nokelainen (2004). Kallur will scout prospects and pros in Sweden and work with Kautonen at major international tournaments.