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Valtteri Filppula
Valtteri Filppula 2016.jpg
Filppula in 2016
Born (1984-03-20) 20 March 1984 (age 38)
Vantaa, Finland
Height 6 ft 0 in (183 cm)
Weight 185 lb (84 kg; 13 st 3 lb)
Position Centre
Shoots Left
NL team
Former teams
Genève-Servette HC
Jokerit
Detroit Red Wings
Tampa Bay Lightning
Philadelphia Flyers
New York Islanders
National team Flag of Finland.svg Finland
NHL Draft 95th overall, 2002
Detroit Red Wings
Playing career 2003–present

Valtteri Filppula (born 20 March 1984) is a Finnish professional ice hockey forward for Genève-Servette HC of the National League (NL).

Filppula won the Stanley Cup with the Detroit Red Wings in 2008. He has previously played with the Red Wings, Tampa Bay Lightning, Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders. He led Finland to a gold medal at the 2022 Winter Olympics and the 2022 IIHF World Championship, which made him the first Finnish member of the Triple Gold Club.

Playing career

Detroit Red Wings (2005–2013)

Filppula
Filppula with the Detroit Red Wings in 2008

Filppula was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in the third round, 95th overall, in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft. He started his hockey career with the Jokerit organization, and secured his place in the SM-liiga team in the 2003–04 season as an offensive forward. He won the SM-liiga silver medal with Jokerit in 2005, and was set to become the team's number one center for the next season. However, Filppula moved to North America to play for the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League (AHL), the top minor league affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings. He was selected to play for PlanetUSA in the 2005–06 AHL All-Star Game.

On 15 December 2005, Filppula made his NHL debut with the Red Wings, becoming the first Finnish player ever to play an NHL game for Detroit. He scored his first NHL goal on 28 October 2006, against former Red Wing goaltender Manny Legace in a game against the St. Louis Blues. He then scored his first playoff career goal in Game 1 of the 2007 Stanley Cup playoffs against the Calgary Flames on 12 April 2007, his first post-season game. Filppula continued playing for the Red Wings and scored 36 points on his third season for the team in the 2007–08 season. He won his first Stanley Cup when Red Wings defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in six games in the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals. He scored the second goal for Detroit in the decisive sixth game of the series, a game in which the Red Wings won 3–2.

On 30 July 2008, Filppula signed a five-year, $15-million contract extension with Detroit, avoiding salary arbitration.

On 21 September 2012, Filppula signed with his former team club Jokerit in Finland as a result of the 2012–13 NHL lockout that halted play. He returned to the Red Wings at the conclusion of the lockout, as his contract with Jokerit was signed to last as long as the lockout did.

Tampa Bay Lightning (2013–2017)

Valtteri Filppula - Tampa Bay Lightning
Flippula as a member of the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2014

On 5 July 2013, Filppula signed a five-year, $25 million contract as an unrestricted free agent with the Tampa Bay Lightning. On 1 December 2014, Filppula recorded his 200th NHL assist in a 6–3 Tampa Bay Lightning win over the New York Rangers. On 6 January 2015, Filppula played in his 600th NHL game in a 4–2 Lightning win over the Montreal Canadiens.

Philadelphia Flyers (2017–2018)

The Lightning dealt Filppula on 1 March 2017 hours before the NHL Trade Deadline to the Philadelphia Flyers, along with a 2017 4th round draft pick and a conditional 7th round draft pick, in exchange for defenseman Mark Streit. Streit was immediately traded to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a draft pick. The moves allowed for Tampa Bay to clear Filppula's $5 million salary cap hit and protect another player in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft due to his no-trade clause. Filppula reportedly rejected a transaction two days earlier that would've sent him to the Toronto Maple Leafs along with Lightning teammate Brian Boyle. Filppula made his Flyers debut on 2 March, a 2–1 shootout win against the Florida Panthers in which he scored the tying goal and was awarded the game's third star. Prior to the 2017–18 season the Flyers named Filppula an alternate captain along with Andrew MacDonald.

Arizona Coyotes vs. Detroit Red Wings December 2019 11 (in-game action)
Filppula prepares to take a face-off during the 2019–20 NHL season

New York Islanders (2018–2019)

On 1 July 2018, Filppula signed a one-year $2.75 million contract with the New York Islanders. In the 2018–19 season, Filppula proved his versatility with the Islanders, used in all forward positions in posting 17 goals and 14 assists for 33 points in 72 games for the playoff bound club. In the post-season, Filppula helped the Islanders advance to the second-round collecting 4 assists in 8 games.

Return to Detroit (2019–2021)

On 1 July 2019, Filppula signed a two-year, $6 million contract with the Red Wings. On 1 February 2020, Filppula appeared in his 1,000th career NHL game, becoming the eighth Finnish-born player to reach the milestone.

Genève-Servette HC (2021–present)

On 24 August 2021, Filppula joined Genève-Servette HC of the National League (NL) on a one-year deal for the 2021–22 season.

International play

Medal record
Representing Flag of Finland.svg Finland
Ice hockey
Winter Olympics
Gold 2022 Beijing
Bronze 2010 Vancouver
World Championships
Gold 2022 Finland
World Junior Championships
Bronze 2003 Canada
Bronze 2004 Finland

Filppula was named captain of Finland at the World under-18 Championships in Slovakia in 2002. At the 2004 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, he scored four goals and five assists in seven games to be selected as a tournament all-star. He was selected to play for Finland at the 2010 Winter Olympics, which eventually resulted in a bronze medal win over Slovakia. He scored the empty net goal in the 5–3 win.

On 7 January 2014, Filppula was named to the team Finland roster for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. On 6 February 2014, Filppula suffered an ankle injury in Tampa Bay's 4–1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. The injury was diagnosed as a non-displaced fracture and he was expected to miss at least three weeks, forcing him to miss the Olympics.

On 2 March 2016, Finland named Filppula to its 2016 World Cup of Hockey roster. He scored Finland's only goal of the tournament in the game against North America.

Filppula served as captain of the gold medal-winning 2022 Finnish Olympic team and the gold medal-winning 2022 IIHF World Championship team. He was also honored as a flag bearer for the Parade of Nations at the Olympic opening ceremony.

With his wins in 2022, Filppula became the first Finnish player and thirtieth overall to enter the Triple Gold Club.

Personal life

Filppula is the younger brother of Ilari Filppula.

Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
2000–01 Jokerit FIN U18 31 18 29 47 4 6 4 4 8 0
2000–01 Jokerit FIN U20 1 0 1 1 0
2001–02 Jokerit FIN U18 1 0 1 1 0 8 4 9 13 2
2001–02 Jokerit FIN U20 40 8 15 23 14 1 0 0 0 0
2002–03 Jokerit FIN U20 35 16 37 53 14 11 4 10 14 4
2003–04 Jokerit SM-l 49 5 13 18 6
2004–05 Jokerit SM-l 55 10 20 30 20 12 5 6 11 2
2005–06 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 74 20 50 70 30 16 7 9 16 4
2005–06 Detroit Red Wings NHL 4 0 1 1 2
2006–07 Detroit Red Wings NHL 73 10 7 17 20 18 3 2 5 2
2006–07 Grand Rapids Griffins AHL 3 2 2 4 2
2007–08 Detroit Red Wings NHL 78 19 17 36 28 22 5 6 11 2
2008–09 Detroit Red Wings NHL 80 12 28 40 42 23 3 13 16 8
2009–10 Detroit Red Wings NHL 55 11 24 35 24 12 4 5 9 6
2010–11 Detroit Red Wings NHL 71 16 23 39 22 11 2 6 8 6
2011–12 Detroit Red Wings NHL 81 23 43 66 14 5 0 2 2 2
2012–13 Jokerit SM-l 16 6 9 15 6
2012–13 Detroit Red Wings NHL 41 9 8 17 6 14 2 4 6 4
2013–14 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 75 25 33 58 20 4 0 1 1 0
2014–15 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 82 12 36 48 24 26 4 10 14 4
2015–16 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 76 8 23 31 46 17 1 6 7 0
2016–17 Tampa Bay Lightning NHL 59 7 27 34 24
2016–17 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 20 5 3 8 2
2017–18 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 81 11 22 33 20 6 1 2 3 2
2018–19 New York Islanders NHL 72 17 14 31 16 8 0 4 4 2
2019–20 Detroit Red Wings NHL 70 6 15 21 24
2020–21 Detroit Red Wings NHL 38 6 9 15 12
2021–22 Genève–Servette HC NL 48 19 28 47 10 2 0 1 1 0
NHL totals 1,056 197 333 530 346 166 25 61 86 38

International

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
2002 Finland WJC18 4th 8 4 6 10 2
2003 Finland WJC 3 6 0 1 1 2
2004 Finland WJC 3 7 4 5 9 2
2010 Finland OG 3 6 3 0 3 0
2012 Finland WC 4th 10 4 6 10 6
2016 Finland WCH 8th 3 1 0 1 0
2017 Finland WC 4th 10 2 3 5 12
2022 Finland OG 1 6 0 2 2 0
2022 Finland WC 1 10 3 2 5 2
Junior totals 21 8 12 20 6
Senior totals 35 10 11 21 18

Awards and honors

Award Year
Finnish Ice Hockey Association
Kari Jalonen Award 2003
President's trophy (Finland) 2022
AHL
All-Star Game 2006
NHL
Stanley Cup champion 2008
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