EVERETT, Wash. – The Everett Silvertips (@WHLSilvertips), two-time Western Conference champions and eight time U.S. Division champions of the Western Hockey League, and general manager and head coach Dennis Williams has announced today the club has signed right winger and 2021 CHL Import Draft selection Niko Huuhtanen to a WHL Standard Player Agreement.
Huuhtanen (HOO-tah-nen), a 2003-born forward who competed for Team Finland at the IIHF U18 World Championships in April, was selected second overall in the CHL Import Draft by the Silvertips on Jun. 30 and is ranked by si.com and The Hockey News at 87th overall for the upcoming 2021 NHL Draft.
The native of Helsinki, Finland, who joins the Silvertips starting this upcoming season, is ranked 49th overall by NHL Central Scouting (European Skaters) for the draft next month, scheduled in a virtual format for July 23-24.
“We’re very excited to receive Niko’s commitment to our program, the Western Hockey League, and a terrific future that awaits him in the Pacific Northwest,” said Williams. “As an NHL Draft eligible forward, he brings a dynamic and well-rounded game that provides a terrific fit among our group. We’re looking forward to seeing him in a Silvertips jersey this season and help advance his development.”
Huuhtanen last season competed for the Tappara U20 club (Finland) and tied the team lead with 20 goals in 37 games, was the leader with 73 penalty minutes, ranked fourth with 34 points, and posted a +12 rating for a program helping develop alumni such as Patrik Laine, Aleksander Barkov, and Henri Jokiharju, all currently competing in the NHL. Huuhtanen added one goal in a pair of playoff games while helping Tappara advance to semifinal play with a regular season record of 17-8-3-2.
On the international stage, the 6-foot-1, 203-pound forward suited up for Team Finland at the U18 World Championships and helped the program advance to the Bronze Medal game, collecting five points (2g-3a) in seven games.
The native of Helsinki, Finland competed for Kiekko-Espoo’s U18 program with a goal and assist in one game in addition to 48 games with the U20 club where he was fourth in goals (18) and racked up 34 points (18g-16a) and 54 penalty minutes in 48 games. He also suited up for Team Finland in the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge and notched four points (1g-43a) in five games and totaled 9 points (1g-8a) in 15 games of overall international competition for Finland’s U17 squad.
PRE-SEASON NHL HOCKEY: The “Three Rink Rush” and the Silvertips host a battle between the Seattle Kraken and Edmonton Oilers at Angel of the Winds Arena on Oct. 1. at 7:00 p.m. PT.
OPENING NIGHT in downtown Everett: the Silvertips host the Portland Winterhawks at Angel of the Winds Arena, Oct. 8 at 7:05 p.m. | TIPS TICKET PACKAGE INFO
The Silvertips will open their 19th season in the WHL on Oct. 2, visiting the Kelowna Rockets at 7:05pm.
Silvertips pre-season: Opens Oct. 10 vs. Spokane at 6pm as part of the Silvertips Pre-Season Classic at Angel of the Winds Arena. Ticket information will be announced soon.