Ville Leino

Ville Leino ( born October 6, 1983 in Savonlinna ) is a Finnish professional ice hockey forward who is since July 2011 with the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League contract.


Ville Leino began his career in 2000 at his hometown club SaPKo Savonlinna. He played for the youth team in the beginning of the second Finnish junior league, but came in his first year and two appearances in the squad of seniors in the third-class Suomi- sarja. In two years in the juniors of SaPKo he could ask his Scorer qualities already demonstrated, when he scored 50 goals in 45 games and contributed 48 assists. But he could with twelve points make a good impression in 17 games even with the seniors.

In 2002, Leino to Ilves Tampere and played in the 2002/03 season for the first time in SM- liiga class. In 23 games, he hit it once and prepared by one goal. But the same time he also played for the first and second team Junior Ilves. 2003/ 04 was finally a permanent member of the professional squad and missed just two league games. Leino developed significantly more compared to the previous season and came up with 24 points scorer. However, in the following year, his performances stagnated and he finished the season off with five points less.

For the 2005/06 season Leino moved to HPK Hämeenlinna, where he managed a significant leap in performance equal to and he rose to become an important service providers within the team. In his first year he was the best scorer with 43 points of his team, finishing in tenth place in the list of the SM- liiga scorer. He was also fifth best preparer of the season with 31 Assist Even in the playoffs, he was able to continue his good form and led the team as the best playoff scorer of HPK for winning the Finnish Championship.

With eleven goals and 29 Assist Leino showed in the 2006/07 season similarly good performance, as in the previous season. And in the playoffs, he was again one of the top performers of HPK, but the team failed in the semis significantly Jokerit Helsinki, where Leino after the season a contract signed. He also reached the final of the HPK IIHF European Champions Cup where the team Ak Bars Kazan Russian representatives but clearly defeated with 0:6.

2007/08 Leino finally developed into a leading top players in the SM- liiga. With 28 goals, he finished third in the scoring charts with 49 assists was the best assist provider of the league and was the scorer list with only one point behind Janne Pesonen to second place. Jokerit closed the regular season starting on the third place in the first round of the playoffs had the team but already fighting hard for the semi-finals, where they were to meet the Espoo Blues. Although Jokerit resulted in the semifinals already in the best- of-seven series against the Blues 3-1 and was already nearing the second finals in a row, but Espoo turned the series even with three wins in a row and could Jokerit into play only collect the bronze medal, but where they lost to Tappara. As in the regular season ranked Leino in the playoff second in the scorers list and was awarded kypärä after game time with Lasse - Oksanen trophy as the best player in the main round, as well as with the Kultainen as the best player throughout the season.

Meanwhile, the North American teams became aware of him and took him in May 2008, the Detroit Red Wings of the NHL for a year under contract. A few months later he was able to bring compelling performances in training camp for the Red Wings, but was initially sent to the AHL, where he will continue to get used with the Grand Rapids Griffins to the North American style of play. Leino was early in the season topscorer of the Griffins, but stumbled in the meantime and was then with consistent performances again an important support for the team. On 31 January 2009, he finally made ​​his debut in the NHL against the Washington Capitals and contributed equally a hit on. Leino also impressed in the following games with a total of nine points in 13 games in early March but was sent back to the AHL, where he reached the Griffins the second round of the playoffs and 13 points in 10 games helped. After the retirement he was appointed for the second time to the Red Wings, where he still came for some games in the final round to use, as they penetrated to the Stanley Cup final, but there were frustrated by the Pittsburgh Penguins.

In the summer of 2009, the Red Wings extended his contract by two years, and he received a place in the NHL squad. However, he could not meet the expectations, so he was put even more games on the gallery even though up to three additional common attacker injured were missing. As early February 2010 announced the return of the injured Johan Franzen, Leino was eventually transferred to the Philadelphia Flyers, so the salary cap of the Red Wings is not exceeded.

July 1, 2011 Leino signed a contract for six years with the Buffalo Sabres.

Awards and achievements

  • 2006 Finnish Champion with HPK Hämeenlinna
  • 2006 SM liiga All- Star Team
  • Lasse Oksanen trophy - 2008
  • 2008 Kultainen kypärä
  • 2008 SM liiga All- Star Team

Career Stats

( Key to Career statistics: Sp or GP = Games Played, T or G = goals scored, V or A = achieved assists; Pts or Pts = scored points scorer, SM or PIM = received penalty minutes, / - = Plus / Minus balance sheet; PP = scored majority gates; SH = scored shorthanded goals, GW = achieved victory gates; Play-downs/Relegation 1 )