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Rangers Land Markkanen, Fourth Rounder from Oilers

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has acquired goaltender Jussi Markkanen and a 2004 fourth round draft choice from the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for defenseman Brian Leetch, who will become a free agent Tuesday, July 1.

Markkanen, (MAHR-kah-nehn, YOO-see), 28, appeared in 22 games for the Oilers last season, posting a 7-8-3 record, along with a 2.59 goals against average, a .904 save percentage and three shutouts. He ranked first on the club in both goals against average (2.59) and save percentage (.904).

Markkanen registered a career-high 36 saves in a 4-3 OT victory over Detroit on January 22. He started three of the final five games of the season for the Oilers, posting a three-game unbeaten streak (1-0-2). When facing more than 30 shots, Markkanen registered a 4-2-0 record.

The 6-0, 183-pounder has appeared in 36 career NHL contests with the Oilers, posting a 13-12-5 record, along with 2.29 goals against average, .914 save percentage and five shutouts. He recorded his first NHL victory and first NHL shutout in his first career NHL contest on November 28, 2001, blanking the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, 2-0. In addition, Markkanen was also a member of the 2002 Finnish Olympic team at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City and represented his country at the 2002 World Championships. Prior to joining the Edmonton organization for the 2001-02 season, Markkanen spent 10 seasons with SaiPa and Tappara Tampere of the Finnish Elite league.

The native of Imatra, Finland was originally Edmonton's fifth choice, 133rd overall, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft.
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