Ice, stick, and net; it is remarkable how the ability of a human being to manipulate these simple objects can be a path to greatness. It is one of the many activities that humanity has developed to explore its own limitations and strengths in everyday men and women who undergo this test and find either greatness, mediocrity, or – worse – failure. Tuukka Rask is one of the men who have chosen to participate in this human quest, and he is one of the few who have shown the strength and skill to pass it successfully. The Finnish-born ice hockey player is one of the outstanding players of ice hockey.
Tuukka Rask’s Bio
The Finnish player was born by Jari Rask and Ijra Rask. He comes from Savonlinna and was welcomed to the world by his parents on 10 March 1987. Tuukka Rask did not see his childhood as an only child, his parents had another son, Joonas Rask, and the two grew up together and played field hockey. They are both professional players.
Rask, like any boy who dreamed of playing at the highest level of the sport, began his career at the youth level. He started playing for his home club Sapko in Savonlinna, Finland, and advanced to the Finnish Junior League where he played for Ilves Jr., a field hockey team from Tampere. During his time with Ilves Jr., Rask, who is a goalkeeper, played 28 games for the team and achieved a statistical average of 1.86 goals conceded with two lockouts and a cumulative savings rate of 0.935.
With such numbers at his young age, Rask had no problem getting into the NHL Entry Draft 2005. The Toronto Maple Leafs, considered one of the best players of his age, were the first team to get their first chance to get his signature, putting him in 21st place in the first round of the draft. Rusk never played for Toronto because he was immediately transferred to the Boston Bruins. The deal, which is now retrospectively considered one of the worst deals in the history of the Maple Leafs, was closed on May 5, 2007.
Tuukka signed a three-year contract with the Boston Bruins and began his time with the Bruins by practicing with the Providence team. He made his first appearance for the team on November 20, 2007, and won his first game by defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2. The Bruins chose to play with their two older goalkeepers, which brought Rask back to Providence as a youth player. In his first season with the Bruins, he played only one game and earned a shutout.
He started the 2009/2010 season as a substitute goalkeeper for the Bruins, although he had signed a two-year contract extension with the team. Although he played as a substitute goalkeeper, Rask was the only goalkeeper to finish the regular season with less than 2.00 goals and a 0.930% saving. However, his performance in the second season was somehow not enough to place him among the finalists for the Rookie of the Year award.
Rask was eventually named starting goalkeeper for the 2012/2013 season and helped the Bruins reach the Stanley Cup final in three years. Although the Bruins didn’t make it to the final, Rask recorded a 0.932 percent saving in the playoffs. His performance prompted the club to offer him an eight-year contract worth $56 million. He signed it before the end of the 2013/2014 season and received his first personal award the following season when he won the NHL Vezina Trophy for the best goalkeeper of the season. He continues to lead the Bruins team as a starting goalkeeper.
Rask has achieved similarly mild team successes in his international career as in his club career. He won a bronze medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics, but could not follow up on a similar success at the World Hockey Championship.
Wife, Brother, and Family
Tuuka grew up with his brother Joonas Rask. While Tuukka plays in the NHL, his brother runs his business in Finland and plays for HIFK as a striker in the Finnish Liiga.
Although Tuukka is not married, he has been in a relationship with Jasmina Nikkila since high school. The couple has a beautiful little girl, Vivien Rask, and although rumors of a second child are on the way, the couple has no official news of this kind.
Height and Weight
As a field hockey goalkeeper, size and considerable flexibility are important qualities that Tuukka has in abundance. He is 1.82 m tall and weighs 84 kg. His dominant hand is left, with which he mainly makes parries.
Other Facts to Know
1. Rask played for the junior team of the Finnish national field hockey team. During his time as a junior player, he participated in the Junior Hockey World Championships and won a bronze medal.
2. Tuukka Rask is a Stanley Cup winner. He won the coveted trophy in the 2010/11 season, although he was not a starting goalkeeper that season.
3. With his Stanley Cup victory he is the second Finnish player in Finnish field hockey history to win the highest club trophy