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|1980 NHL DRAFT PICK|
No. 119 overall by New York Rangers
Born April 1, 1960
Height: 5-8 Weight: 170
|BEFORE THE DRAFT|
Birthplace: Oulu, Finland
PRE-DRAFT AWARDS AND HONORS
World Championships: 1978 (seventh), 1979
World Jr. Championships: 1977 (fourth place), 1978 (sixth
place), 1979 (fourth place), 1980 (silver medal)
European Junior Championships: 1976 (bronze medal)
World Junior Championships Best Defenseman: 1980
Defenseman: 1979-80 (Oulu)
World Junior Championships All-Star First Team: 1980
All-Star First Team: 1979-80 (Oulu)
Miscellaneous: Played goalie during his minor-hockey years in Finland. ... Worked as sporting-goods salesman in Oulu, Finland, during
off-seasons of his junior career.
| Debut: October 6, 1981 (Detroit at N.Y.
Numbers: 29 (N.Y. Rangers); 29, 26
(Edmonton); 29 (New Jersey)
Stanley Cup: 1987, 1990.
Playing Status: Retired 1998
|CAREER NHL STATISTICS|
||NYR, Edmonton, N.J.||446
|CAREER NHL PLAYOFF STATISTICS|
||N.Y. Rangers, Edmonton||86
AWARDS AND HONORS
All-Star Game: 1986 (N.Y. Rangers)
N.Y. Rangers Players' Player
NYR Alumni Star of Year: 1983-84 (co-winner)
N.Y. Rangers Emery Edge Award (+/- Leader):
NHL Game-Tying Goals Leader: 1984-85 (N.Y. Rangers) (3, tie)
N.Y. Rangers Points Leader: 1984-85 (73)
N.Y. Rangers Assists
Leader: 1982-83 (53), 1984-85 (45)
N.Y. Rangers Playoffs Goals
Leader: 1983 (4, tie)
Miscellaneous: Spoke minimal English when he first arrived in NHL. ...
Missed part of 1981-82 season with foot injury, suffered in January 1982. ...
Paired on defense with Barry Beck for N.Y. Rangers in 1981-82 and 1982-83. ...
Played left wing for N.Y. Rangers on occasion during 1982-83 season. ...
Missed part of 1983-84 season with hip pointer, an injury suffered during N.Y.
Rangers' Oct. 22, 1983, game at N.Y. Islanders. ... Played left wing for N.Y.
Rangers in 32 games during 1984-85 season. ... Played on line with Mark
Pavelich and Anders Hedberg for N.Y. Rangers in 1984-85. ... Rated to have the
fourth-best slap shot in the NHL by a Calgary Herald poll of
executives, coaches and goalies in 1984-85 (ranking behind Al MacInnis, Doug
Wilson and Reed Larson). ... Was close friend of Mark Pavelich during his
years with N.Y. Rangers, and roomed with Pavelich on road trips. ... Left N.Y.
Rangers to sign with SC Bern (Switzerland) on July 25, 1986. Ruotsalainen had not wanted to continue playing for N.Y. Rangers coach Ted
Sator, and so he went to Europe. After his rights were traded to Edmonton,
Ruotsalainen finished his European season and joined Oilers on March 5, 1987.
Edmonton general manager Glen Sather tried to buy Ruotsalainen out of his
one-year Swiss contract so that he could join the team earlier, but the Bern
management would not allow Ruotsalainen to leave because he was drawing large
crowds. ... Was represented by agent Don Baizley during his playing
days. ... Left unprotected by Edmonton for 1987 NHL Waiver Draft, because he
had spent previous two seasons in Europe. He
was claimed by New Jersey on Oct. 5, 1987. ... Left NHL for final time on June
6, 1990, when he signed with SC Bern (Switzerland).
|Post-Draft Teams: Oulu (Finland); Bern
(Switzerland); Jonkoping (Sweden); Tampere Tappara (Finland); Zurich
(Switzerland); Kuopio (Finland)|
Canada Cup: 1981
(sixth place), 1987 (sixth place)
World Championships: 1981 (sixth),
1985 (fifth), 1989 (fifth)
AWARDS AND HONORS
Finnish Hockey Hall of Fame: Inducted 2000
Finland Championship: 1981 (Oulu)
Switzerland Championship: 1989, 1991, 1992 (Bern)
Defenseman: 1980-81 (Oulu)
Finland All-Star First Team: 1980-81 (Oulu)
DN Cup MVP: 1981 (N.Y. Rangers)
DN Cup Championship Game MVP:
1981 (N.Y. Rangers)
DN Cup Best Defenseman: 1981 (N.Y. Rangers)
Finland Playoffs Goals Leader: 1981 (Oulu) (7 goals)
DN Cup Points Leader: 1981 (N.Y. Rangers) (7 points)
Assists Leader: 1981 (N.Y. Rangers) (6 assists)
Named Miami (ECHL) assistant coach on Dec. 30, 1998, and remained in that
position until team folded in April 1999. ... Named New Orleans (ECHL)
assistant coach (officially listed as "hockey consultant") prior to 1999-00
season and remained in that position through 2000-01 season. ... Named Oulu
(Finland) assistant coach prior to 2001-02 season and remained in that
position through 2001-02 season. ... Named Oulu (Finland) head coach prior to
2002-03 season and remained in that position into 2003-04 season.
Miscellaneous: Played on N.Y.
Rangers team that competed in Sweden's 1981 DN Cup tournament. ... Co-owned
Finnish racehorse with Finnish and N.Y. Rangers teammate Mikko Leinonen.
... Full name is Reijo Juhani Ruotsalainen. ... Son of former Finnish coach
|HOW HE GOT AWAY|
|TRADE: N.Y. Rangers sent Ruotsalainen,
Clark Donatelli, Ville Kentala and Jim Wiemer to Edmonton on October 23, 1986,
to complete an earlier transaction in which Edmonton sent Don Jackson and Mike
Golden to N.Y. Rangers for future considerations on October 2, 1986.
Ruotsalainen had been playing in Europe at the time of the first trade and had
no intention of returning to the Rangers. To widen the second trade, Edmonton
added Miloslav Horava and future considerations to the deal. Five days after Ruotsalainen returned from
his season in Switzerland and
joined the Oilers, Edmonton sent Stu Kulak to N.Y. Rangers to complete Oct. 23 deal
on March 10, 1987.||
|Tier II Junior:
|Won Stanley Cup:
|Hall of Fame: