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Esa Keskinen

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Esa Keskinen (born February 3rd 1965 in Ylöjärvi, Finland) is a former professional centre. Drafted by the Calgary Flames in the 5th round, 101st overall, of the 1985 NHL Entry Draft, Keskinen was a popular figure in Finnish hockey.

A very skilled player, Keskinen began his playing career with FPS Forssa of the then I.Divisioona in 1981 for two seasons before moving to TPS Turku of the SM-Liiga, where he started making a name for himself, winning the scoring title in 1987-88 and being named league's MVP the following season. After a highly productive 3 seasons stint with the Lukko Rauma, Keskinen went back with TPS for 1991-92, clinching two more scoring titles for 1992-93 and 1993-94, being named league's best player for that season and appearing in the league's all-star team for the second time (first was in 1992-93).

In 1994-95, Keskinen signed with HV 71 of the Elitserien, where he joined his fellow countryman Kai Nurminen and formed with him a proficient goal-scoring duo - he became hugely popular and would draw by himself huge crowds at the Rosenlundhallen, the former arena of the HV 71. He came back to Finland for a final season in 1999-00 before retiring from competition. He was inducted to the Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame, becoming Jääkiekkoleijona #140.

Keskinen took part in 13 international competitions throughout his career: the 1981, 1982 and 1983 European Junior Championships, the 1984 and 1985 World Junior Championships, the 1988 and 1994 Olympic Winter Games, plus 6 World Championships appearances: 1989, 1990, 1991, 1994, 1995 and 1996.

Awards and honoursEdit

  • Gentleman Player, Fair Play Player (SM-liiga 83-84, 92-93)
  • Top Scorer (WJC 85; SM-liiga 87-88, 92-93, 93-94; Eliserien 95-96)
  • Most Assists (SM-liiga 87-88, 90-91, 92-93, 93-94)
  • Key Player (SM-liiga 88-89)
  • Best Player of Team Finland (with Arto Ruotanen and Sakari Lindfors WC 90)
  • All-Stars team (SM-liiga 92-93, 93-94)
  • Best Player (SM-liiga 93-94)
  • Kultainen kypärä (SM-Liiga 93-94)
  • Golden Helmet (Elitserien 95-96)
  • Assist record (Elitserien 95-96)
  • All-Star Team (EC 95-96)
  • Jääkiekkoleijona #140
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