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Flames in the WJC (Maybe): Joni Ortio



Yes, it’s that time of year where we all get really excited about WJC rosters. I’m going to look at the various Flames prospects that make the teams (or come close to it) over the next week or so, break down their playing styles, and what this WJC time can mean for their development and the Flames.

Today we get a glimpse of the final Flames prospect in the WJC (the fact that there’s only three is horribly horribly depressing. I’m not sure, but that may be the lowest in the league): Joni Ortio. Ortio is a Finnish goaltender from Turku, Finland and currently playing his rookie season for reigning champion TPS of the SM-liiga. While he is the backup, he’s getting a sizeable share of starts (10 to the starter Atte Engren’s 24) and actually holds better statistics currently. His SV% is currently at 90.68 and his GAA is 3.42.

Taken in the 6th round, 171st overall, there’s not a whole lot riding on him. He’s not (another) Leland Irving that we’ve spent a first rounder on (not that we’d even recognize that if we saw it). Rather, Ortio is a low risk-high reward prospect.

Ortio played in last year’s WJC and was Finland’s starting goalie then as well. How’d he do? He was…bad. His SV% was 84.47 and he held a GAA of 3.02. Not pretty. Of course, his backup was somehow worse: Petteri Simila (Montreal Canadiens, 7th round, 211th overall) faced 19 shots over the tournament and allowed 5 goals. Given Ortio’s statistics in the SM-liiga and the fact that the backup was beyond horrible, I think it’s a safe assumption that the defense isn’t helping anyone.

While Finland’s no pushover, their D isn’t exactly awe inspiring. Hopefully Ortio, the presumed starter will be able to take his experience of playing in Finland’s top league and apply it to his time in the WJC.

Random Note:

You may recall that TPS is Miikka Kiprusoff’s former team, but did you know that Kipper is a part owner of it? This can only mean good things for Ortio.

by Arik Knapp