Blades goalie signs pro contract
The Steele County Blades hockey team is proud to announce that veteran goaltender Niilo Ventelä has signed a professional contract with Osby IK of the Swedish HockeyTvåan
Ventela, from Säkylä, Finland. He wrapped up his second season in between the Blades’ pipes.
In his two seasons with the Blades, Ventela posted a 4.98 GAA and a Save % of .894 in 33 total appearances. This past season was started late by Ventela due to a knee injury in the off season.
Steele County Coach Nick Adamek expressed his sentiments over Ventela’s signing. “ We are so happy for Niilo to get this opportunity. Niilo is a leader that people want to follow,” said Adamek. “His competitive attitude and work ethic both on and off the ice have paid off. He has worked so hard over the past two seasons to get to this point and we are so happy he gets to prove to the world just how good of a goaltender he is.”
Adamek said he knows Mikko Aho, Ventela’s agent, worked tirelessly to get this opportunity for his client, but his client has made the job a worthwhile and rewarding task for him.
On signing his contract, Ventela said, “I have to thank Coach Adamek, his staff, and all my teammates with the Blades for giving me a good place to grow as a person, and as an athlete. A special thanks needs to go out to my amazing billet families that invested in me as a person from day one. It is unbelievable to think that I have made so many friends on the other side of the world. I look forward to the challenge of participating in HockeyTvåan and can;t wait to see what the future holds.”
Osby Ik, located in the Southern region of Sweden, was 12-10 last season and were pooled in the “promotion” level before the pandemic ended its season. They are led by longtime Liiga/SHL star Coach Teemu Elomo of Finland.
Ventela marks the fourth Blade to advance from last season's team. He follows Jake Freise, Carter Broton, and Will Christensen who are all set to play college hockey next fall. More news on where our players are headed will be announced throughout the off season.