Defenseman Tuomas Salmela, 24, and forwards Miro Nalli, 21, and Roby Järventie, 17, each agreed to a one year contract extension that includes a one year option. Timo Peltomaa, 51, has been appointed as team manager.
Born in 1995 in Tornio, Tuomas Salmela is playing his second season with Ilves. He has worn the yellow and green jersey in 93 games and has recorded three goals and 18 assists. Currently, Salmela has a plus-8 rating, which is the fourth highest among Ilves’ defensemen.
– Some of the finest attributes a hockey player can have are the ability and the desire to compete. These attributes are strongly involved in Salmela’s work ethic. He is a very persistent hockey player and an athlete, who strives to outperform himself every day. Obviously, he has the desire to develop, which is an essential value in our organization, says Ilves Hockey Oy’s sports director Timo Koskela.
Miro Nalli is Ilves’ home-grown player and has spent most of the season in KOOVEE, Ilves’ collaboration team. Nalli has ten goals and ten assists in 28 games with KOOVEE in Mestis. He made his debut with Ilves’ first team in December and has two assists in 11 games in Liiga.
– Miro has earned his contract extension by showing determination both in games and in practices. He has gained some ice time with the first team this season and has been able to make a difference by playing energetically, says Koskela.
Playing his first season with adults, Roby Järventie has scored 18 goals and 11 assists in 28 games with KOOVEE. Like Nalli, Järventie made his Liiga debut in December and has scored one goal in five games with Ilves. Järventie, who is a part of Finnish under 18 national team, is eligible for the 2020 NHL entry draft.
– Roby’s attributes, being at the right place at the right time and exceptional puck-handling skills, make him an exciting player to follow. He is one of the most talented players in his age group here in Finland, Koskela points out.
Ilves’ first team’s management team gets a new member as Timo Peltomaa will be responsible for team manager’s duties. Peltomaa ended his remarkable career as a hockey player after 2004-2005 season. He has been the team manager and a coach of the Ilves U20 team for six years.
– It’s great that Tinke [Timo Peltomaa] took this position when we offered it to him. We wanted to separate team manager’s and coaches’ responsibilities, so that they have a chance to focus on their main duties. Markus Korhonen has done a great job managing team manager’s tasks on the side of goalie coaching. However, we want to create an operations model that makes possible for Markus to focus only on coaching goalies and developing our organization’s operations related to goalkeeper development. We are very pleased with these contract extensions and the addition of Peltomaa, concludes Koskela.
With the newest contract extensions, Ilves currently has 20 contracts concerning the next season. In addition, five other players’ contracts include an option for the 2020-2021 season.