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Preds prospect Salomaki to play for Finland at World Juniors…

In June, the Nashville Predators made forward Miikka Salomäki their second choice in the NHL Entry Draft. Today, they found out that the 52nd overall pick will don his native Finland’s sweater during the 2012 World Junior Championships later this month.

Salomäki comes from the same Finnish Elite League club that produced another Predator you may have heard of: Pekka Rinne. At 18 years old, the Raahe, Finland native is Kärpät’s second leading scorer with 17 points in 25 games. He’s also the team’s leader in penalty minutes (38) and has their second-best plus/minus rating (plus-9).

With blue chip prospects Joel Armia (1st round, Buffalo Sabres, 2011) and Markus Granlund (2nd, Calgary Flames, 2011) skating up front along with Christopher Gibson (2nd, Los Angeles Kings, 2011) between the pipes, Finland is considered to be a favorite for a medal.

The 2012 World Junior tournament kicks off with Canada taking on Salomäki and Finland on December 26 in Edmonton, Alberta.

All of the exciting action can be seen on NHL Network.

PHOTO CREDIT: Jeremy K. Gover //