Olympic gold medalist and world champion Marko Anttila, 36 returns to Ilves for the remainder of the season. The forward, who started his Liiga career at Ilves, joins the team today.
Marko Anttila joins Ilves from Jokerit after the club ended their KHL season. He scored 11 points (6 goals, 5 assists) in 40 games for the Helsinki based club this season. Anttila was part of the the Olympic gold-winning Finnish team at the Beijing winter Olympic tournament that was played in February. The right-handed forward (203 cm / 104 kg) was the alternate captain of the team. He scored two goals and added one assist in five games.
A native of Lempäälä, Anttila started his Liiga career at Ilves, where he also won the championship with Ilves U20 team in his first season 2004–2005. The forward represented the club until spring 2011 ja scored 98 points (43 goals, 55 assists) in 330 regular season games. Anttila has also played for the Liiga club TPS in 2011–2013. He scored 31 goals and added 46 assists in 119 regular season games for the club before moving on to foreign leagues.
Anttila started the 2013–2014 season at Russian club Metallurg Novokuznetsk and ended it at Swedish club Örebro HK. He spent the next two seasons in Sweden as well and scored 54 points (35 goals, 19 assists) in 123 regular season games in total for Örebro.
The forward was playing his sixth consecutive KHL season for Jokerit and his second as captain of the team. Over his years in the league he amassed 96 points (53 goals, 43 assists) in 320 regular season games and 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) in 30 playoff games.
Anttila has represented Finland four times at the IIHF World Championships and twice at the Olympics. He was the captain of the team when Finland won gold at the 2019 World Championships and silver at the 2021 World Championships. He was selected the Finnish player of the year 2019 by The Finnish Sportswriters’ Association.
Sport director Timo Koskela is excited about Anttila’s return to Ilves.
– Marko Anttila’s return has a huge meaning to the Liiga and our team and organisation. Marko’s achievements as a hockey player are second to none, and he is extremely respected – both as a player and a person – by everyone working in the field of ice hockey. We want to warmly welcome Marko back to the Ilves family, says Koskela.
Marko Anttila will wear the jersey number 12, which was previously used by forward Matias Mäntykivi, who now switches to number 67.
– Ice hockey teams hierarchy includes things that are earned by actions. For me it was obvious that Marko Anttila can play the rest of the season with number 12. I very much look forward to him joining our team and will gladly play the rest of the season with number 67, says Mäntykivi.