U16 SM-Series Playoffs: All-Tournament Team

Apr 12, 2023 | World Hockey Hub

Eetu Orpana, forward for 2007-born Finnish youth hockey team Tappara skates with the puck.
Photo from Instagram | @vanninenphotos

Standout performers from Finland’s national championship

During the course of Finland’s U16 SM-Series Playoffs, numerous individuals displayed their talents in a tournament of the top teams in the country. Two of those players, Eetu Orpana and Joonas Rajala, were main reasons why Tappara was able to win its first national championship since 1998. 

2007 All-Tournament Forwards

Joonas Rajala
Olli Wahlroos
Eetu Orpana

For a majority of this season, Joonas Rajala and Eetu Orpana have filled scoresheets with their names. Providing a one-two punch up front for Tappara, much of the club’s success can be attributed to the way these two forwards play the game. Their dynamic play carried over into the national playoffs, where they each tallied 12 points in seven games. Rajala put up eight goals, while Orpana was more of a distributor of the puck, collecting eight assists.  

Olli Wahlroos was one of the most consistent forwards for TPS en route to their run to the championship game. Wahlroos put up five goals and 11 points in 10 playoff games. He shined as a fantastic two-way player whose patience with the puck allowed teammates to find scoring opportunities. Wahlroos is a leader that makes those around him better. 

2007 All-Tournament Defensemen

Ossi Tukio
Aaron Paju

Ossi Tukio led all defensemen in scoring with two goals and eight points, which was also good enough for third overall among all Ilves skaters. With a decent frame, his long reach prevented attacking players from being able to establish much zone time. With only two penalty minutes to his name, Tukio is rarely seen out of position. 

Aaron Paju added complimentary scoring from the blue line for TPS, racking up one goal and seven points in 10 games. A mainstay on the power play because of his excellent puck movement, his lone goal came on the man advantage in the second game against Tappara. 

2007 All-Tournament Goaltender

Eero Rönö

Statistically, there was no better goaltender in the U16 SM-Series Playoffs than Eero Rönö. Compiling a .955 save percentage and 1.25 goals-against average, only five goals made their way past him in four starts. Constantly exhibiting calm demeanor in the crease, you would be hard pressed to find another 2007-born Finnish goalie who is as technically sound as he is. If not for a late power-play goal, Rönö would have secured a 30-save shutout in the Game 2 of the Finals against TPS. He made 23 saves in Game 1 as well.  

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