One of a long line of Finland-born goalies to make their mark in the NHL, Raanta has a strong attention to detail, sharp focus, a relentless work ethic and great preparation habits.
He displayed that in his native country before heading to North America. Raanta started his career with Lukko in the Finnish Elite League, then moved to Assat in 2011-12. His best season came in 2012-13, when he led the league in goals-against average (1.85) and save percentage (.943), was fifth in shutouts (five) and tied for fifth in victories (21). He won the Lasse Oksanen Award as the league's best player in the regular season as well as the Urpo Ylonen Award as the league's top goalie in the regular season.