Spits Select Finnish Defenseman

Shalapata-Header(WINDSOR, ON) – Using the 39th selection in the 2016 CHL Import Draft, General Manager Warren Rychel and the Windsor Spitfires have selected Urho Vaakanainen of the Espoo Blues of the Finnish SM-liiga.

In 43 games last season, the 6’ 1”, 187lb, defenseman registered 19 points and 16 assists while serving 16 minutes in penalties.

Vaakanainen, a native of Joensu, Finland, was on the roster for the World U17 Hockey Challenge and the IIHF’s U18 World Championships, last year. Combined, he produced 3 points in 12 games and a +6 rating.

“Urho is one of the best 1999-born defensemen in the world,” Rychel said of the left shooting defender. “A very good, solid, two-way player with good offensive instincts.”

He will join Mikhail Serachev on the blue line as well as the recently acquired forward Julius Nattinen on the 2016-17 Spitfires roster.


About the Author

Ian Shalapata
Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Email Ian Shalapata