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Aatu Räty, 2 Other Islanders Prospects Representing Finland in Upcoming WJC



Aatu Räty, New York Islanders
New York Islanders forward Aatu Räty (Photo-via Bridgeport Islanders Twitter)

The World Junior Championships kick off Sunday, August 9, in Edmonton Alberta, after the tournament was canceled back in December due to COVID-19. The New York Islanders have three players representing Team Finland.  One of them is top prospect Aatu Räty.

There are two other New York Islanders prospects who will be representing Team Finland as well, in Eetu Liukas and Matias Rajaniemi.

Refresh your memory on what Räty did for Bridgeport when he came over, as well as learn about the other two prospects.

Aatu Räty, C, 

Here at NYI Hockey Now, we have written a lot about the 152nd overall pick in 2021, Aatu Räty.

The 19-year-old fell at the 2021 NHL Draft after a few tough seasons, but the New York Islanders took a chance on him and may have landed the steal of the NHL Draft.

His ability to come over to North America and make an immediate impact with the Bridgeport Islanders in the first round of the Calder Cup Playoffs gave Islanders fans a glimpse into the future.

Despite Bridgeport being bounced in the second round, there was so much positivity around Räty, who is likely to get a full season in Bridgeport or at least start the 2022-23 season in Bridgeport before getting a chance with the big club at some point during the season.

Räty, as he gears up for the WJC, has appeared in 11 International junior games, with seven goals and 13 assists. He has four penalty minutes over that span.

Eetu Liukas, LW

Drafted 157th overall in the 2021 NHL Draft, 19-year-old Eetu Liukas is a physical player who will not pass up an opportunity to use his body. His one-timer is rather lethal as well, but fans will not get to see him in Bridgeport in 2022-23. He will be staying in Liiga and will play for HPK.

This past season, in 48 games with TPS, Liukas netted eight goals with four assists. In 17 playoff games, the physical winger notched four goals.

In 10 International junior games, he has just one goal and 14 penalty minutes.

Matias Rajaniemi, D

Drafted 183rd overall in 2020, Matias Rajaniemi does have some offensive upside and playmaking ability. At 6’4, 218 lbs, he is a difficult player for the opposition to get past.

This past season in Liiga, Rajaniemi had one goal and six assists in 58 games with 24 penalty minutes. He dealt with an injury at the end of the season which kept him out of the lineup for a bit.

Rajaniemi has been a member of the Pelicans (including U 16, U 18, U 20, Pro) for the entirety of his hockey career in Finland and is scheduled to return for a seventh season with the organization.

In eight Internation junior games, Rajaniemi had two assists and two penalty minutes.


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