By: Lucas Pearson | Follow Me On Twitter @LucasPearson_
Happy 32nd Birthday To Former Boston Bruins Forward Joonas Kemppainen!
Kemppainen was born on April 7th, 1988, in Kajaani, Finland and wasn’t drafted to the NHL. The 225-pound center spent his entire hockey career in Finland until coming to the Bruins in 2015. Kemppainen made his way through the Finnish junior leagues, totaling 74 points in 115 games in the Jr. A-League and three points in the 2008 World Junior Classic.
The big lefty made the full time jump to the Finnish professional league (Liiga) in 2008 and carved out a solid start to his pro career. He spent two seasons with HPK where he averaged just around .44 points a game, but his most impressive seasons came with his next club, Karpat. The Fin spent five years with Karpat, and the Bruins liked what they saw, especially in his final two seasons. He tallied 31 and 32 points in those two seasons and had a very successful World Cup before leaving for Boston. In that World Cup, Kemppainen was Finland’s second-leading scorer (notably finishing above Aleksander Barkov) with nine points in eight games.
After proving himself in Finland, Kemppainen made the jump to the NHL when he signed a one year deal with the Bruins. Unfortunately for Boston, the Fin’s success did not carry over to the NHL. In 44 games, he was able to pot just two goals and three assists to go along with a -6 rating. Funnily enough, he actually scored his first NHL goal against current Bruin Jaroslav Halak in Long Island. What a trivia question that would be. You could even throw in that Ryan Spooner and Tyler Randell were his linemates, oh how the Bruins have grown.
Later that season, he was sent to Providence and had five points in 11 games. His NHL tenure was short-lived as Kemppainen signed with Sibir Novosibirsk in the KHL following the end of the season. He still remains in Russia today, now playing for the notorious St. Petersburg and had 13 points this season.