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Jani Rita

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Jani Rita
JaniRita2
Position Left wing
Shoots Left
Height
Weight
6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
209 lb (95 kg)
FNL Team
F. Teams
Jokerit
NHL
Edmonton Oilers
Pittsburgh Penguins
AHL
Hamilton Bulldogs
Toronto Roadrunners
Born July 25 1981 (1981-07-25) (age 35),
Helsinki, FIN
NHL Draft 13th overall, 1999
Edmonton Oilers
Pro Career 2001 – present

Jani Rita (born July 25, 1981 in Helsinki, Finland) is a professional ice hockey winger playing for Jokerit Helsinki of the SM-Liiga in Finland.

Playing careerEdit

Despite limited NHL experience, Rita has played extensively in the American Hockey League and in the SM-liiga in his native Finland. Rita started his hockeycareer in a youth team of EKS (Espoon Kiekkoseura). He played his first seasons of pro hockey for Jokerit, Helsinki, and was drafted 13th overall in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft by the Edmonton Oilers.

Rita played for HPK in the SM-liiga during the 2004–05 NHL lockout, winning the bronze medal. That season he was awarded the Raimo Kilpiö trophy, and led the league in scoring during the playoffs. He also represented Finland at the 2005 World Hockey Championship, earning one assist. He had signed with Jokerit for the 2005–06 season with a contractual clause enabling him to return to the NHL. When the Oilers offered him a one-year contract in August 2005, Rita signed on to return to North America.

Although once considered a premier prospect at the NHL level, Rita's slow development showed cause for concern to Oilers management. On January 26, 2006, Rita was traded along with Cory Cross, to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Dick Tärnström. He finished the season with just 10 points in 51 games.

It was announced on 2 May 2006 that Rita was to depart Pittsburgh to join Jokerit on a one-year contract. He was the best goal scorer of SM-liiga in 2006–2007 season.

AwardsEdit

Career statisticsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1998–99 Jokerit SM-liiga 41 3 2 5 39
1999–00 Jokerit SM-liiga 49 6 3 9 10 11 1 0 1 0
2000–01 Jokerit SM-liiga 50 5 10 15 18 5 0 0 0 2
2001–02 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 76 25 17 42 32 15 8 4 12 0
2001–02 Edmonton Oilers NHL 1 0 0 0 0
2002–03 Hamilton Bulldogs AHL 64 21 27 48 18 23 3 4 7 2
2002–03 Edmonton Oilers NHL 12 3 1 4 0
2003–04 Toronto Roadrunners AHL 64 17 24 41 18 1 1 0 1 0
2003–04 Edmonton Oilers NHL 2 0 0 0 0
2004–05 HPK SM-liiga 56 21 18 39 12 10 7 4 11 4
2005–06 Edmonton Oilers NHL 21 3 0 3 4
2005–06 Pittsburgh Penguins NHL 30 3 4 7 6
2006–07 Jokerit SM-liiga 56 32 20 52 28 10 6 1 7 2
2007–08 Jokerit SM-liiga 37 10 10 20 16
2008–09 Jokerit SM-liiga 58 14 16 30 12 5 0 2 2 0
NHL totals 65 9 5 14 10

External linksEdit

Preceded by
Michael Henrich
Edmonton Oilers first round draft pick
1999
Succeeded by
Alexei Mikhnov
Preceded by
Kimmo Kuhta
Winner of the Raimo Kilpiö trophy
2004–05
Succeeded by
Esa Pirnes
Preceded by
Tony Salmelainen
Winner of the Aarne Honkavaara trophy
2006–07
Succeeded by
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