Wednesday, August 22, 2012
A blueliner from across the pond
Ahti Oksanen. He was the top scoring defenseman (and 5th leading scorer) for the Espoo Blues U20s in the Jr. A SM-liiga with a 14-25-39 line and 26 PIMs in 47 games. His +42 was the top plus/minus for the Blues and best among all defensemen in the Jr. A league. His assist total was third best for the league’s defensemen.
The left-shot blueliner also was second among the league’s d-men in scoring and earned league All-Star honors this past season. He split the 2010-2011 season with the Blues’ U20 and U18 teams, tallying 15 points in 22 games in an injury-shortened season.
Ahti has also represented Finland in international hockey, playing on its U18 team in 2010-11. NHL Central Scouting ranked him #66 among European skaters after a strong second half of the season; however, he was not drafted this past June.
Oksanen is from Espoo, Finland, which also was the home of Peter Ahola, a former BU All-American blueliner. Ahola, who played for BU’s 1991 Final Four team, is now one of the owners of the Espoo Blues. Associate head coach Mike Bavis, a teammate of Ahola on the ’91 Terriers, traveled to Finland to recruit the defenseman.
Easing his transition from Finland, Oksanen will be able to rely on Pertti Hasanen, BU’s director of hockey operations and a former assistant coach to Jack Parker. The Finnish native also has served as chief European scout for the Los Angeles Kings and the Calgary Flames.
BU’s full nine-member recruit class will be announced in the next day or two.
► The Bergen Record profiles six alums of the North Jersey Avalanche junior program including current Terrier Alexx Privitera and his brother, 2013 BU recruit Jarrid Privitera, who will play for Dubuque in the USHL this season.
Blackout Dallas, profiling the Stars’ top prospects, posted this feature on Alex Chiasson, who began his pro career last April with the AHL Texas Stars. Chiasson also talked the NHL.com about his hopes for the coming season.