Sami Vatanen (born 3 June 1991) is a Finnish professional ice hockey defenceman for the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was drafted in the fourth round, 106th overall, by the Anaheim Ducks at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
Vatanen was drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. In the following season, he earned a spot on defending Finnish champions JYP's roster. He broke a record for most points by a rookie defenceman in both the Finnish SM-liiga regular season and playoffs.
Vatanen made his NHL debut with Anaheim in the lockout-shortened 2012–13 season, on 1 February 2013. Vatanen was also selected to the AHL First All-Star Team, as well as the AHL All-Rookie Team, despite playing in just 62 games of the 76-game season.
On 22 July 2014, Vatanen signed a new two-year, $2.525 million contract with Anaheim. He recorded 12 goals and 25 assists during the 2014–15 season, his first full NHL season.
At the completion of the 2015–16 season, Vatanen amassed a new career high with 38 points in 71 games. As a restricted free agent, on 18 June 2016, he signed a new four-year contract with Anaheim.
On 30 November 2017, during the 2017–18 season, Vatanen was traded (along with a conditional third-round pick in 2019 or 2020) to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for Joseph Blandisi, Adam Henrique and a third-round pick in 2018.
In his third year with the Devils while in his final season under contract in the 2019–20 season, Vatanen continued to produce from the blueline, posting 5 goals and 23 points through 47 games before suffering a leg injury. With the Devils well out of playoff contention, Vatanen was dealt at the NHL trade deadline to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for Fredrik Claesson, Janne Kuokkanen and a conditional third or fourth-round pick in 2020 on 24 February 2020.
In 2010, Vatanen represented Finland internationally at the junior level (2010 World Junior Championships held in Saskatchewan) and at the senior level (2010 World Championships held in Germany). At the end of the 2009–10 season, Vatanen also became the highest-drafted Finnish player in Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) history when he was selected second overall in the 2010 KHL Junior Draft by Metallurg Novokuznetsk.
At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Vatanen won a bronze medal when Finland defeated the United States 5–0.
Vatanen represented Finland at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey held in Toronto in September 2016.
Regular season and playoffs
|2017–18||New Jersey Devils||NHL||57||3||25||28||32||4||1||0||1||0|
|2018–19||New Jersey Devils||NHL||50||4||13||17||22||—||—||—||—||—|
|2019–20||New Jersey Devils||NHL||47||5||18||23||22||—||—||—||—||—|
Awards and honours
|Pekka Rautakallio trophy
|Matti Keinonen trophy
|Pekka Rautakallio trophy||2011–12|
|SM-Liiga championship with JYP Jyväskylä||2011–12|