Mikko Rantanen (born 29 October 1996) is a Finnish professional ice hockey forward. He is currently playing for the Colorado Avalanche of the National Hockey League (NHL). He was selected in the first round, tenth overall, by the Avalanche in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft.
Rantanen in 2016
29 October 1996|
|Height||6 ft 4 in (193 cm)|
|Weight||216 lb (98 kg; 15 st 6 lb)|
10th overall, 2015|
Rantanen made his professional Finnish SM-liiga debut as a 16-year-old playing with HC TPS during the 2012–13 season. Rantanen had played with TPS from a youth of 14-years old at the under-16 level. In 15 games, he scored 2 goals and 3 points.
Entering the 2014–15 season as the only 17-year-old to play in his third year with TPS, Rantanen signed a two-year extension to remain with the Liiga outfit on 9 October 2014. Through using his big frame and physical play, Rantanen recorded a career-high 9 goals and 28 points in 56 games, also serving as an alternate captain. He also featured for TPS junior club in the post-season recording 14 points in 7 contests to help capture the championship and was given Best Player honours for his efforts.
In his National Hockey League (NHL) draft eligible year, Rantanen was rated as the top European skater at season's end. He was taken tenth overall by the Colorado Avalanche at the 2015 NHL Entry Draft on 26 June 2015.
On 13 July 2015, Rantanen signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Avalanche. After attending his first Avalanche training camp, and impressing in the pre-season, Rantanen was announced to have made the opening night roster for the 2015–16 season as an 18-year old on 6 October 2015. On 8 October 2015, he made his NHL debut to open the season with the Avalanche in a 5–4 defeat to the Minnesota Wild. He was used in a depth role and played limited minutes over six scoreless games with Colorado before being sent to the team's American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the San Antonio Rampage, on 22 October 2015.
In his AHL debut, Rantanen contributed with his first goal and assist in North America during a 5–1 victory over the Stockton Heat on 24 October 2015. He continued his scoring pace with the Rampage, leading the club in all offensive categories before he was selected to the AHL All-Star Game as the second-youngest participant in the event's modern history. After receiving a three-game recall to the Avalanche, Rantanen was returned to complete the season with San Antonio, becoming just the seventh teenager to reach the 60-point mark, doing so in just 52 games. In finishing sixth in overall scoring, he earned a selection to the Second All-Star Team and shared the Dudley "Red" Garrett Memorial Award alongside Frank Vatrano as the AHL's rookie of the year.
On 11 November 2016, Rantanen scored his first NHL goal 1:03 into the second period in a game against the Winnipeg Jets. The Avalanche would go on to win 3–2 in overtime. He recorded his first NHL hat-trick on 8 February 2017 in a 4–0 win over the Montreal Canadiens.
Rantanen had a breakout year during the 2017–18 season, scoring 29 goals and 55 assists for 84 points in 81 games; only linemate Nathan MacKinnon had more points for Colorado. The team qualified for the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs as the second wild card team in the Western Conference. Rantanen had four assists as the team was eliminated by the Nashville Predators in six games.
The following season saw Rantanen continue to play at an impressive pace, highlighted by his play during the first few months of the season. By December, Rantanen had earned 50 points and was on pace to score the most points by any player since the 2004–05 lockout. Although his scoring would drop off, Rantanen finished the season with 87 points in 74 games played; a career high. He also lead the team in scoring during the team's two-round playoff run.
On 28 September 2019, Rantanen signed a six-year, $55.5 million contract extension with the Avalanche.
|World Junior Championships|
Rantanen was introduced and developed as a youth in the Finnish national junior under-16 program. He was first selected at an international tournament at the 2013 World U-17 Hockey Challenge, scoring seven points in five contests. He went on to lead the team at the under-18 level with seven points in four games at the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament before competing in his first full IIHF competition at the 2014 IIHF World U18 Championships.
Rantanen continued his progression within the Finnish junior team in earning selection to the 2015 World Junior Championships in Toronto. Despite a disappointing seventh-place finish, Rantanen contributed with four goals in five games to earn a top-three player on team selection.
During his first North American professional season and while eligible for his final junior tournament, Rantanen was loaned by the Colorado Avalanche to Captain the Finnish junior team as they hosted the 2016 World Junior Championships. While adding a stabilising veteran presence, Rantanen played a supporting role throughout the round-robin stage before stepping up his production in the Semi-final against Sweden and scoring in the Final against Russia to help Finland claim the gold medal and cap his junior career.
Regular season and playoffs
|2015–16||San Antonio Rampage||AHL||52||24||36||60||42||—||—||—||—||—|
|2016–17||San Antonio Rampage||AHL||4||0||2||2||4||—||—||—||—||—|
Awards and honours
|Jr. A League Champion (TPS)||2015|
|Ville Peltonen Award||2015|
|Dudley "Red" Garrett Memorial Award||2016|
|Second All-Star Team||2016|
- "2012–13 HC TPS player statistics". Eliteprospects.com. 1 April 2013. Retrieved 1 April 2013.
- "Ranatanen signs two-year extension" (in Finnish). HC TPS. 9 October 2014. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
- "NHL Central's final rankings". National Hockey League. 8 April 2015. Retrieved 8 April 2015.
- "Avalanche selects Mikko Rantanen in first round". Colorado Avalanche. 26 June 2015. Retrieved 26 June 2015.
- "Avalanche Signs Mikko Rantanen". Colorado Avalanche. 13 July 2015. Retrieved 13 July 2015.
- "Colorado Avalanche opening night roster" (PDF). Colorado Avalanche. 6 October 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
- "Mikko Rantanen, 18, makes Avalanche opening night roster". Denver Post. 6 October 2015. Retrieved 6 October 2015.
- "Parise, Wild rally to stun Avalanche". National Hockey League. 8 October 2015. Retrieved 8 October 2015.
- "Avalanche swap Mikko Rantanen for Dennis Everberg". runningwiththeherd.com. 22 October 2015. Retrieved 22 October 2015.
- "Rampage dominate the Heat". American Hockey League. 24 October 2015. Retrieved 24 October 2015.
- Marrazza, Dan (2 February 2016). "Mikko Rantanen A Historic AHL All-Star". NHL.com. Retrieved 5 April 2018.
- "First, Second Team All-Stars announced". American Hockey League. 7 April 2016. Retrieved 7 April 2016.
- "Rantanen, Vatrano share Garrett Award". American Hockey League. 14 April 2016. Retrieved 14 April 2016.
- Knabenbauer, Ron (12 November 2016). "Rantanen Scores Gorgeous First NHL Goal". NHL.com. NHL.com. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
- Sadowski, Rick (8 February 2017). "Mikko Rantanen hat trick boosts Avalanche". NHL.com. Retrieved 30 September 2018.
- Myers, Tracey. "Predators put it all together to eliminate Avalanche in Game 6". NHL.com. Retrieved 23 April 2018.
- Clinton, Jared. "Forget Matthews and Marner, what will it cost the Avalanche to sign RFA-to-be Rantanen>". thehockeynews.com. Retrieved 23 May 2019.
- "Finland's Rantanen puts on a show at World Juniors". National Hockey League. 29 January 2015. Retrieved 29 January 2015.
- "Best player of each team selected" (PDF). International Ice Hockey Federation. 7 February 2015. Retrieved 7 February 2015.
- "Avalanche will loan Rantanen to Finland's World Junior Team". The Score. 14 December 2015. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
- "Rantanen raring to go". International Ice Hockey Federation. 5 January 2016. Retrieved 5 January 2016.
- "Kapanen, Rantanen help Finns to Gold". American Hockey League. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
- "Prospects take home medals from WJC's". Colorado Avalanche. 6 January 2016. Retrieved 6 January 2016.
- Biographical information and career statistics from NHL.com, or Eliteprospects.com, or Eurohockey.com, or Hockey-Reference.com, or The Internet Hockey Database
|Awards and achievements|
| Colorado Avalanche first round draft pick
| AHL Rookie of the Year
2015–16 (with Frank Vatrano)