Sami Vatanen (born 3 June 1991) is a Finnish professional ice hockey defenceman currently playing for the New Jersey Devils of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was drafted 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 defenseman 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, the Ducks re-signed Vatanen to a two-year, $2.525 million contract extension. He scored 12 goals to go with 25 assists for the Ducks 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, Vatanen signed a four-year contract extension on 18 June 2016.
During the 2017–18 season, on November 30, 2017, 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 2010, Vatanen represented Finland internationally at the junior level (2010 World Junior Championships held in Saskatchewan, Canada) 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, Russia, Vatanen won a bronze medal when Finland defeated the United States 5–0.
He represented Finland at the World Cup 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|
Awards and honours
|Pekka Rautakallio trophy
Awarded to the best defenceman in SM-liiga
|Matti Keinonen trophy
Awarded to the player with the best +/- rating
|Pekka Rautakallio trophy||2011–12|
|SM-Liiga championship with JYP Jyväskylä||2011–12|