2025 4 Nations Face-Off: Finland Announces First Six Players

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The NHL 4Nations Faceoff will showcase four national teams vying on the ice. Sweden, the United States, Canada, and Finland will compete in the tournament scheduled from February 12th to 20th at TD Garden in Boston and Bell Centre in Montreal. Recently, each of the four teams unveiled the first group of six players each who will compete for their nations. The remaining roster, consisting of 23 NHL players (20 skaters and three goalies), will be disclosed later this year.

Finland has decided the initial six players who will represent them in the tournament, as outlined below:

F Aleksander Barkov (Florida Panthers)

F Mikko Rantanen (Colorado Avalanche)

F Sebastian Aho (Carolina Hurricanes)

D Esa Lindell (Dallas Stars)

D Miro Heiskanen (Dallas Stars)

G Juuse Saros (Nashville Predators)

Aleksander Barkov (Florida Panthers)

After guiding the Florida Panthers to victory in the Stanley Cup this season, Team Captain Aleksander Barkov was a natural choice for the Finland team in the upcoming 2025 4 Nations Face-Off. Barkov’s impressive performance included tallying 80 points (23 goals, 57 assists) in 73 games. The 28-year-old center also shared the team lead with 22 points (eight goals, 14 assists) during the 24 Stanley Cup Playoff games. In the Final, he recorded five points with two goals and three assists in seven games. Throughout the playoffs, he accumulated 22 points, including eight goals and 14 assists in 24 games. Notably, he successfully prevented Conn Smythe Trophy winner Connor McDavid from scoring any points in Games 6 and 7. Originally drafted by the Panthers as the No. 2 pick in the 2013 NHL Draft, Barkov has accumulated 711 career points (266 goals, 445 assists) in 737 regular-season games and 59 points (19 goals, 40 assists) in 71 playoff appearances.

Miro Heiskanen (Dallas Stars)

Chosen by the Dallas Stars in as the third overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, Heiskanen has demonstrated his worth as the defenseman. He played a crucial role in the Stars’ journey to the Stanley Cup Final in 2020, contributing 26 points (six goals, 20 assists). His performance made him the defenseman with the highest point total in the postseason since Brian Leetch of the New York Rangers achieved 34 points in 1994. This past season concluded with Heiskanen accumulating 54 points, which included nine goals and 45 assists, in 71 regular-season matches. Additionally, he recorded 16 points, with six goals and ten assists, across 19 playoff games. Throughout his professional career, the defenseman has accumulated 258 points (comprised of 53 goals and 205 assists) in 425 regular-season matches, as well as 61 points (consisting of 16 goals and 45 assists) in 85 playoff games.

Mikko Rantanen (Colorado Avalanche)

Rantanen, a key player for the Avalanche this season, accumulated 104 points (42 goals, 62 assists) in 80 games, ranking second on the team. This impressive performance was just shy of his career-high of 105 points (55 goals, 50 assists) achieved in the previous season. The forward also stood out in the playoffs, contributing 14 points (four goals, ten assists) in 11 games. Rantanen played a crucial role in the Avalanche’s Stanley Cup victory in 2022, recording 25 points (five goals, 20 assists) in 20 playoff games. Selected by Colorado as the No. 10 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, Rantanen has amassed a total of 617 career points (262 goals, 355 assists) in 570 regular-season games and 101 points (34 goals, 67 assists) in 81 playoff appearances.

Sebastian Aho (Carolina Hurricanes)

Sebastian Aho led the Hurricanes with 89 points (36 goals, 53 assists) in 78 regular-season games, consistently ranking first or second in Carolina’s scoring for all eight of his NHL seasons. The 26-year-old also contributed 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in 11 playoff games. Aho was drafted by the Hurricanes in the second round (No. 35) of the 2015 NHL Draft. He has amassed 557 points (254 goals, 303 assists) in 598 regular-season games and 70 points (27 goals, 43 assists) in 74 playoff games. The NHL 4 Nations Face-Off marks Aho’s seventh appearance, representing Finland in significant international competitions. Aho is no stranger to international tournaments having previously competed for Team Finland in the 2015 and 2016 IIHF World Junior Championships, the 2016, 2017, and 2018 IIHF World Championships, as well as the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

Esa Lindell (Dallas Stars)

Another selection from the Dallas Stars for the Finnish team is Esa Lindell. Lindell had 26 points (five goals, 21 assists) and led Dallas with 162 blocked shots in 82 regular-season games. The 30-year-old also had five points (three goals, two assists) in 19 playoff games. He was chosen by the Stars in the third round (No. 74) of the 2012 NHL Draft. Since then, he has accumulated a total of 191 points (49 goals, 142 assists) across 604 regular-season games, along with 22 points (five goals, 17 assists) in 85 playoff games. Lindell has previously competed for his country in international tournaments. He participated in the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championship, contributing to Finland’s gold medal victory. Moreover, he was a member of the Finnish team at the 2015 IIHF World Championship, being recognized as one of the top three players representing Finland. Lindell also played in the 2016 IIHF World Championship, where Finland secured a silver medal.

Miro Heiskanen (Dallas Stars)

Chosen by the Dallas Stars in as the third overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, Heiskanen has demonstrated his worth as the defenseman. He played a crucial role in the Stars’ journey to the Stanley Cup Final in 2020, contributing 26 points (six goals, 20 assists). His performance made him the defenseman with the highest point total in the postseason since Brian Leetch of the New York Rangers achieved 34 points in 1994. This past season concluded with Heiskanen accumulating 54 points, which included nine goals and 45 assists, in 71 regular-season matches. Additionally, he recorded 16 points, with six goals and ten assists, across 19 playoff games. Throughout his professional career, the defenseman has accumulated 258 points (comprised of 53 goals and 205 assists) in 425 regular-season matches, as well as 61 points (consisting of 16 goals and 45 assists) in 85 playoff games.

Juus Saros (Nashville Predators)

Saros, drafted him in the fourth round (No. 99 overall) of the 2013 NHL draft by the Predators, had an impressive 2023-24 season in the NHL. He played 64 games, posting a record of 34 wins, 24 losses, and five ties. He had a 2.86 goals-against average, a .906 save percentage, and recorded three shutouts. This marked the third consecutive season that he led the League in games played. In the playoffs, he maintained a 2.02 GAA and .900 save percentage in six games. Over his career, Saros has accumulated a record of 182 wins, 119 losses, and 32 ties in 350 regular-season games, with 23 shutouts. He has a career GAA of 2.63 and a save percentage of .917. In the playoffs, he has a record of five wins and 11 losses in 23 games, with a 2.45 GAA and .911 save percentage.

All seven matches in the 4 Nations Face-Off will adhere to NHL rules. Each team will compete in three tournament games utilizing a Round Robin format. Teams will earn 3 points for a regulation victory, 2 points for an OT/shootout win, and 1 point for an OT/shootout loss. The top two teams, based on their performance, will progress to the Final Championship Game.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

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Karen Zehner

Credentialed Beat Writer covering the ECHL Atlanta Gladiators. Diving into the world of slap shots, penalty kills, and the game we love. [@RunwithK] on socials.

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