Guildford Sign Finn Class

The Flames have made an eye-catching addition to their roster, as Ole Bjerkovoll reports.

Tuomas Santavuori, a former international at youth level for Finland, joins the Flames after spending last season at Kazakhstani outfit Kulager Petropavlovsk.

“We are looking to improve our team in any way we can, and Tuomas has a resume with a pedigree we can’t ignore,” Head Coach Paul Dixon told the club website.

Santavuori, 31, is the second Finn to join Dixon’s team this fall after Joonas Kuusela transferred from Finnish side Hermes in September.

Santavuori has 464 starts behind him in over a decade of playing in the Finnish top division Liiga and averaging 0.5 point (both goals and assists) made per game in what is regarded as one of Europe’s top five leagues.

Last season the offensive winger played 45 games for Kulager in the Kazakhstani top division and made 39 points (17 goals+22 assists) for his side.

The former Finland Under 18 international who hails from Savolinna skated his youth and first senior years at Pelicans Lahti just a short three-hour drive down the road.

Santavuori made his debut for Pelicans in the 2002-03 season making nine appearances for the senior side that season. After 10 years at Pelicans, Santavuori spent a few seasons around other Finnish sides before a move to the Swedish second league HockeyEttan and Kiruna IF in 2014-15, where he scored on his debut, before last season’s move to Kazakhstan.

Dixon continued to praise his new player who he hopes to see in action when the Flames travel to Peterborough this weekend: “He sees the ice well, and should be a really complementary player with some of our existing line-up.

“He has put up some very impressive production numbers consistently in one of the world’s finest leagues for many, many seasons.  We hope to get the paperwork sorted out in time for our stop in Peterborough on Saturday.”

Guildford Flames play away to Peterborough and then host Telford at home on Sunday.

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