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Philadelphia Flyers vs Colorado Avalanche
Philadelphia Flyers reserve goalie Antero Niittymaki of Finland stretches during warm ups at the Pepsi Center in Denver on December 7, 2007. (UPI Photo/Gary C. Caskey)
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Antero Pertti Elias Niittymäki (Finnish pronunciation: ; born 18 June 1980) is a Finnish professional ice hockey goaltender who is currently a member of the San Jose Sharks of the National Hockey League. He has previously played for the NHL's Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning, as well as in the SM-liiga and the American Hockey League. At the 2006 Winter Olympics, while playing for Team Finland, he was voted the MVP of the entire tournament.

From 1995 to 2002, Niittymäki played for TPS in the SM-liiga (Finnish elite league), playing in the junior SM-liiga prior to 1999. In 2000 he won the Jarmo Wasama memorial trophy for Rookie of the Year, and led TPS to their second straight SM-liiga championship.

Niittymäki was the Philadelphia Flyers' 6th round pick (168th overall) in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. "I didn't even know I got drafted. I found out the next morning. I was really surprised," he said in an interview in November 2003. Even if he had opted to go immediately to the United States to play hockey, compulsory military service kept Niittymäki in Finland until January 2001.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Antero Niittymaki."
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