Ducks Reassign Vatanen to Norfolk (AHL)
Vatanen, 22 (6/3/91), earned 6-8=14 points with a +2 rating and 20 penalty minutes (PIM) in 41 games for the Ducks this season. The 5-10, 183-pound defenseman won bronze with Team Finland at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, leading all tournament defensemen in assists (5) and ranking tied for fourth in scoring (0-5=5). In 49 career NHL games, Vatanen has earned 8-8=16 points with a +5 rating and 20 PIM.
“It’s the same philosophy as the last time he went down,” said head coach Bruce Boudreau. “We have 24 men on the roster with him here right now, until March 5 when we can expand the roster as long as we’re under the salary cap.
“Everybody else would have to go through waivers, and I don’t think we want to take the chance of anyone going through waivers.”
Adds Boudreau, “He knows exactly the reason why he went down. It’s not like we pull him in and say he’s playing bad. He knows he’s in this situation, just like Peter Holland was always in this situation. I want to make sure he totally understands the reasons. I don’t want him going down [to Norfolk] depressed and thinking he’s not good enough. It’s just the art of the business.”
Selected by Anaheim in the fourth round (106th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Vatanen has collected 1-5=6 points with a +2 rating in six games with Norfolk this season. In 68 career AHL games, the Jyvaskyla, Finland native has collected 10-41=51 points with a +2 rating and 48 PIM.