Columbus Blue Jackets
Photo courtesy of Liiga.fi

Fantasy Summary

A technically-sound goaltender who has played well in big games. Slightly undersized n comparison to NHL goaltenders of today.


Attributes
Fantasy Upside 7.5
NHL Certainty 6.0
Country FIN
Position G
Roster Type Minors
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth February 13, 1997
Height 6‘1”
Weight 183 lbs
Drafted 2018 Round 6; Overall: 173

Observations

August 2020 – Although he was handed the reigns late in the season, it was not an overly successful final stretch to his AHL rookie campaign. He wrapped up his year with an eight-game winless streak, finishing with a 10-18-4 record with three shutouts. Owners should take his final stretch with a grain of salt, as the team in front of him was far from stellar. The 23-year-old continues to hold high value and could very well jump up as a solid backup option next season should any injuries occur at the top. Dave Hall

January 2020 – With his counterpart Matiss Kivlenieks heading to the NHL due to injuries, Vehviläinen takes on responsibilities as the Monster’s number-one net-minder. The Finnish standout has made a smooth transition to American soil in his first year, growing more confident with each match-up. Despite his average 7-8-1 record, the 22-year-old has posted two shutouts to go with a respectable 2.01 GAA and a 0.923 save percentage. While this role will not last forever, a successful showing could definitely fast-track his spot in the organizations’ depth charts. Regardless, the 6’1 backstop continues to show a high ceiling while developing into a very solid pro-goaltender. Dave Hall 

 

November 2019 – It has been an impressive start for the rookie playing in his first AHL season. Through five games, the 6’1 net-minder sports a 2.02 goals against and a .932 save percentage to go with his 3-2-0 record. This includes a 29 save shutout, which he posted in just his fourth game. It is early, but the 22-year-old looks to have made a smooth transition to North America after showing very impressive numbers overseas. Vehvilainen is considered a backup for the Monsters this season behind Matiss Kivlenieks. However, if he continues this impressive play, you could see him challenge for that number one spot down the stretch. The organization could very well have a sixth-round steal on their hands. Dave Hall

June 2019 – Vehvilainen has won the Urpo Ylonen trophy for the second consecutive year. The award is given by the Finnish Liiga to the best goalie of the season. If it was not already evident that Vehvilainen has nothing more to prove in the the SM-Liiga, it should be by now. Having signed a two-year entry-level contract this month, expect him to compete for a backup role in Cleveland this season. Frank Pellegrini 

June 2019 – Vehviläinen has signed a two-year entry-level contract with the Blue Jackets. It’s been reported that he’ll push for an NHL job in camp, but with five goaltenders signed, it’s likely the NHL or back to the Finnish Liiga for the 22-year-old in 2019-20. Cam Robinson

June 2019 – Vehviläinen was absolutely stellar in 2018-19. The 22-year-old netminder finished the regular season with a 1.58 GAA and a .933 save percentage in career-high 38 Liiga games. When playoff time came, he was even better. If the sixth-round draft pick signs an entry-level contract this summer, a backup role in Cleveland could be his to lose next fall. Frank Pellegrini

February 2019 – Vehviläinen went undrafted multiple times before being selected by Columbus in 2018. He currently plays for Karpat in Finland’s Liiga and has dominated there over the past two seasons. Last year, he won the Urpo Ylonen Award as the league’s top goalie. This campaign, he is sporting a stellar 1.41 GAA and a .941 save percentage.

The long-term future of Sergei Bobrovsky and the Columbus Blue Jackets does not look promising. If he is traded or does not re-sign, we could see Vehviläinen suit up for the Cleveland Monsters as early as next season. His best-case scenario is that he follows the career path of Pekka Rinne. The reigning Vezina trophy winner (Rinne) was also drafted late as an over-ager and dominated the Liiga for multiple seasons. The worst-case scenario for Vehviläinen is that he enjoys a successful career in the AHL with some sprinkled NHL call-ups. Frank Pellegrini


Stats

 Season Team League GP GAA SVS%      Playoffs GP GAA SVS%
 2012-2013 JYP U16U16 SM-sarja Q1 4.08 .879|      
  JYP U16U16 SM-sarja3 2.00 .938|      
  JYP U18U18 SM-sarja25 3.01 .918|      
  JYP U20U20 SM-sarja1 3.23 .933|      
  Finland U16 (all)International-Jr6 4.10 .891|      
 2013-2014 JYP U18U18 SM-sarja4 3.75 .862|      
  JYP U20U20 SM-sarja29 2.89 .919|      
  Finland U17 (all)International-Jr2 0.67 .977|      
  Finland U18 (all)International-Jr1 8.45 -|      
 2014-2015 JYP U20U20 SM-sarja17 3.09 .918|      
  JYP-AkatemiaMestis26 2.57 .917|Playoffs4 2.56 .922
  JYPLiiga0 - -|      
  Finland U18Hlinka Gretzky Cup2 5.50 .841|      
  Finland U18WJC-187 1.65 .949|      
  Finland U18 (all)International-Jr17 3.15 .909|      
 2015-2016 JYPChampions HL1 2.00 .929|      
  JYPLiiga28 2.04 .925|Playoffs3 3.70 .796
  JYP-AkatemiaMestis7 2.92 .925|      
  Finland U20WJC-204 3.79 .838|      
  Finland U20 (all)International-Jr10 - .877|      
 2016-2017 JYPLiiga9 2.29 .912|      
  JYPChampions HL2 1.51 .943|      
  JYP-AkatemiaMestis7 2.45 .904|      
  SportLiiga9 2.12 .923|      
  Finland U20WJC-206 1.51 .931|      
  Finland U20 (all)International-Jr15 - .922|      
 2017-2018 KärpätLiiga35 1.89 .925|Playoffs17 1.57 .933
 2018-2019 KärpätLiiga38 1.58 .933|Playoffs17 1.47 .939
  KärpätChampions HL6 2.34 .905|      
  Finland EHT4 0.98 .958|      
  FinlandWC1 2.82 .897|      
  Finland (all)International5 1.73 .925|      
 2019-2020 Cleveland MonstersAHL33 2.76 .901|      
 2020-2021 JYPLiiga- - -|      

Highlights