Finnish goalie Harri Sateri offers much more than just a great hockey name.
The 6-foot-1, 190-pound goaltender, who interviewed with 22 NHL teams at the 2008 NHL scouting combine in Toronto last month, is hoping he'll be able to prove it on a league-wide level. The first step in that process, of course, is to have his name called during the NHL Entry Draft, to be held June 20-21 at Scotiabank Place.
Despite being tagged as Finland's backup heading into the 2008 World Junior Championship, Sateri worked his way into a tandem role with Riku Helenius and earned the start in the crucial quarter-final match against Team Canada en route to leading the Finns to a sixth-place showing at the tournament.
An exemplary skater with excellent vision and anticipation, Sateri was forced to play to his strengths as the Canadians got better with each shift. While his statistics for the tournament -- an .878 save percentage and a 3.98 goals-against average in six games -- are average, he was a 17-year-old playing in a tournament dominated by 19-year-olds. He took the loss in Finland's 4-2 setback against Team Canada but he wasn't overmatched, exhibiting poise, good mobility and solid positioning behind a defence that yielded four goals per game for the tournament.
He also made four starts at the 2007 World Under-18 Championship in his native Finland, finishing with a 3.27 GAA and .898 save percentage.
"The good experience in the (international) tournaments definitely has helped me," Sateri told NHL.com. "I feel I'm a pretty quick guy and like to use my stick a lot. I have a real positive attitude. I would be disappointed if I wasn't drafted, but I know it's not the end of the world, either. We'll see what happens."
Sateri was the starting goalie for much of this past season with the junior team in Tappara. He suffered a nagging knee injury at the start, but still played in 34 games, compiling a 2.99 GAA and .908 save percentage.
"Harri is a solid goalie with a low mistake rate," said Goran Stubb, the NHL's director of European scouting. "He'll be a key player for the Finns during the upcoming season at the world juniors in Ottawa (Dec. 26-Jan. 5). He could go in the third or fourth round of this year's draft."
Sateri, the No. 2-rated European goalie by NHL Central Scouting, always has been a big fan of Vancouver's Roberto Luongo.
"I've always like his style and his composure in there," Sateri said.
Said one NHL scout, "Sateri has the coverage and quickness to make the necessary saves as well as the mental abilities to keep up with the game."Contact Mike Morreale at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Mike G. Morreale | NHL.com Staff Writer