|Anssi Tapio Salmela
Height: 5' 11", Weight: 191 pounds
Born: 8.13.84 Nokia, Finland
|How he arrived: Signed as a free agent from Tampara Tappere (Finland), 5.22.08
How he left: Traded to the Atlanta Thrashers for Niclas Havelid and Myles Stoesz, 3.2.09
How he returned: Traded by the Atlanta Thrashers with Ilya Kovalchuk and Thrashers' 2nd round
pick in the 2010 E.D. for Johnny Oduya, Niclas Bergfors, Patrice Cormier, and Devils' 1st and 2nd
round picks in the 2010 E.D., 2.4.10
How he left again: Signed as a free agent with Avangard Omsk (KHL), 7.15.11
|Regular Season Statistics with the Franchise
Stats in bold signifies team leader.
From what I had seen of Salmela in his brief time with the Devils, he had a great package to his game. He had a lot of
skill in his offensive play, particularly when stick handling, and he wasn't afraid to play a physical game. He actually
thrived when he did.
He played very well during the preseason, so it was no surprise that he made the team in 2008.
From what I had read, there should have concern about his discipline on the ice. I had heard he took quite a few
penalties. He did so over in Finland. That proved not to be the biggest weakness of his game, though, as he kept his
PIMS down. No, even in Atlanta, his biggest weakness was inconsistency, not uncommon for a young player, sure,
but not an impression you'd want to leave, either.
He opted to go back to Europe in 2011. After two seasons with Omsk, he went to play in the Swedish Elite League,
where, despite playing for 4 teams in 3 seasons, he did rediscover his offensive game.
This season, he's giving the KHL another go, joining the expansion team in Beijing, HC Kunlun Red Star.