Heljanko Excels in Tappara
Christian Heljanko has become a very steady goaltender in his time, studying the game and making it is. This has made him into one of the premier goalies in Liiga today.
The 24-year old from Provo, Finland started coming into his own after the 2015-16 season. Playing with LeKi of the Mestis league he began to showcase his talents.
Not only did he study the game he also studied the moves and antics of his opponents between the pipes. Heljanko is a product of those studies and has a little bit of each goaltender in his movements.
Although he undrafted in the NHL, he seems to be quite comfortable playing in Liiga. He is quietly making a name for himself around the league, letting his play speak for itself.
Heljanko has become a very solid goaltender and has adapted to the ever-changing game of hockey. Playing in Liiga for the past 5 years he has become comfortable with the opposition and their skill set.
He has transformed himself into a steady goaltender. Heljanko is better side to side, is quicker on his feet, plays the angles smoother, and is not afraid to come out and challenge the shooter.
His achievements come off the ice as well. Winning the Silver medal in 2015 as part of team Finland at the IIHF U18 World a championship, Gold medal in 2016 as part of the Jukurit Mikkeli team, and finally a bronze medal in 2019 as part of his current team, Tappara Tampere.
Heljanko has become quite the accomplished goaltender. In 161 Liiga games, he has a record of 75-46-37, a .911 save %, 2.15 GAA, and 15 shutouts, while posting a record of 11-9 with 2 shutouts,2.28 GAA, and a .912 save % in 20 postseason games.
Heljanko has played in various countries in his steps to become the best goaltender he is today. He has made stops in the Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, and Switzerland.
This season, for Tappara, he is still excellent in goal, making timely saves to keep the games close and competitive. Heljanko is 15-9 in 31 games played, with a 1.82 GAA, 5 shutouts, and a .916 save %.
Tappara currently sits in 5th place with 67 points, 12 behind 1st place. Heljanko will certainly have to stand on his head to make sure a playoff ticket is secure and in their hands.