Ice, stick, and net; it is remarkable how a person’s ability to manipulate these simple objects can be a pathway to greatness. It is one of the many activities humanity has crafted to explore its own limitations and strengths in everyday men and women who choose to submit themselves to this test either find greatness, averageness or worse, failure. Tuukka Rask is one of the men who chose to partake in this human quest and he is one of the few who have shown the strength and skill to succeed at it. The Finnish born Hockey player is one of Hockey’s prominent players.
Tuukka Rask’s Bio
The Finnish player was born to Jari Rask and Ijra Rask. A native of Savonlinna, he was welcomed by his parents into the world on the 10th of March, 1987. Tuukka Rask did not see his childhood as an only child, his parents had another son, Joonas Rask and the two grew up together playing hockey. They are both professional players.
Rask, like every boy who dreamed to play in the highest level of the sport, started his career at the youth level. He started playing for hometown club, SaPko in Savonlinna, Finland and got a promotion to the Finnish Junior League where he played for Ilves Jr, a hockey team based in Tampere. During his time at Ilves Jr, Rask who is a goaltender was able to play 28 games for the team and posted a statistical average of 1.86 goals against with two shutouts and a cumulative save percentage of .935.
With numbers like that as his young age, Rask had no problem getting drafted in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Considered one of the best players at his age, Toronto Maple Leafs were the first team that got the first chance to seize his signature, drafting him in the first round of the draft as the 21st overall pick. Rusk never played for Toronto as he was traded immediately to the Boston Bruins. The trade, which in hindsight has now been tagged one of the worst business the Maple Leafs have conducted in their history was completed on the 5th of May, 2007.
Tuukka signed a three-year contract with the Boston Bruins and started his time with the Bruins practicing with the Providence team. He made his first appearance for the team on the 20th of November 2007 and won his first game in a 4-2 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Bruins opted to play with their two older goaltenders, returning Rask to Providence as a rookie player. His first season with the Bruins, he played just one game, earning a shutout.
He began the 2009/2010 season as the backup goaltender for the Bruins, although he had signed a two-year contract extension with the team. Despite playing as a backup goaltender, Rask was the only goalie to finish the regular season with less than 2.00 goals and a save percentage of .930. His second season performance, however, was somehow not enough to put him among the finalists for the Rookie of the Year Award.
Rask was finally named the starting goaltender in the 2012/2013 season and he helped the Bruins to a Stanley Cup final in three years. Although the Bruins did not make the finals, Rask recorded a .932 save percentage in the playoffs. His performance prompted the club to offer him an eight-year $56 million contract. He signed it prior to the end of the 2013/2014 season. His first personal award came the following season when he won the NHL Vezina Trophy for the best goaltender in the season. He continues to lead the Bruins team as a starting goaltender.
Rask’s international career has shared similar mild team success as his club career. He won a Bronze medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics but was unable to replicate a similar success in the Hockey World Cup.
Wife, Brother, and Family
Tuuka grew up with his brother, Joonas Rask. While Tuukka plays in the NHL, the brother plies his trade in Finland, playing for HIFK as a forward in the Finnish Liiga.
Although Tuukka isn’t married, he has been in a relationship with Jasmiina Nikkila since high school. The couple has a beautiful baby girl, Vivien Rask and while there have been rumors of a second child on its way, the couple does not have any official news of the sort.
Height and Weight
As a Hockey goaltender, height and considerable flexibility are important qualities to have and Tuukka has them in abundance. He stands tall at 6 feet 2 inches and weighs 84kg. His dominant hand is his left and he primarily makes saves with it.
Other Facts to Know
1. Rask played for the Junior team of the Finnish National Hockey team. During his time as a junior player, he competed in the World Junior Hockey Championships and won a Bronze medal.
2. Tuukka Rask is a Stanley Cup winner. He won the coveted trophy in the 2010-11 season although he wasn’t a starting goaltender during that season.
3. His Stanley Cup victory makes him the second Finnish player in Finland Hockey History to win the highest club trophy.