Chicago Blackhawks: Jaakko Rosendahl
August, 19, 2013
By Scott Powers
AP Photo/Lehtikuva/Jussi NukariThe 24-year-old Antti Raanta is expected to start the season at Rockford.Assat Pori goaltending coach Jaakko Rosendahl has never come across a goaltender as unique as the Chicago Blackhawks' Antti Raanta.
Raanta's skill level put him in an elite category for Rosendahl, but it was much more than that. Working with Raanta last season at Assat in the SM-liiga in Finland, Rosendahl found himself often surprised by him on and off the ice.
"He's so different than any other goalie," Rosendahl said in a recent phone interview. "He was so open-minded. He was so relaxed. If you think goaltenders don't talk to other people, he's the other side of it. His outlook, his behavior with people, it's really different. Kind of every day was funny. He worked hard, but he was so funny, so different than other goalies.
"Before games -- two hours before a game -- he was like some guy who came off the street and into the locker room. 'Hey, let's go.' He's not heavy. He's not going to feel like not talking to anyone. He's relaxed. That's why he keeps so much in the game."