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Petri Skriko : biography

March 12, 1962 -

Petri Kalevi Skriko (born March 13, 1962 in Lappeenranta, Finland) is a retired Finnish professional ice hockey player, best remembered for his seasons starring in the NHL for the Vancouver Canucks in the 1980s. He is currently a scout for the Washington Capitals.

Awards and achievements

  • SM-liiga Rookie of the Year (1980–81)
  • SM-liiga All-Star Team (1983–84)
  • Top Forward and Tournament All-Star, 1982 World Junior Ice Hockey ChampionshipsCollins gem Hockey Facts and Stats 2009-10, p.514, Andrew Podnieks, Harper Collins Publishers Ltd, Toronto, Canada, ISBN 978-1-55468-621-6
  • Vancouver Canucks' leading scorer (1985–86, 1988–89)
  • Molson Cup winner for Vancouver Canucks (most three-stars selections, 1986–87)
  • First Finnish player ever to play for the Vancouver Canucks
  • First Vancouver Canuck ever named NHL Player of the Month (November 1986)
  • Most hat-tricks in a season by a Vancouver Canuck (4, 1986–87)
  • 10th all-time in Canuck scoring (373 points)
  • Denmark Player of the Year (1994–95, 1996–97)
  • #9 jersey retired by SaiPa Lappeenranta

Playing career

Skriko was a teenage phenom in Finland for his hometown club SaiPa Lappeenranta as he emerged as a star at the age of 18 and was named the SM-Liiga Rookie of the Year in 1981. That summer, he was drafted into the NHL by the Vancouver Canucks as the 157th pick in the 1981 NHL Entry Draft.

In ensuing seasons, his stock continued to rise as he developed into one of the top players in Finland. He dominated the 1982 World Junior Championships - earning top forward honours with 15 points in 7 games - and turned in stellar performances at the 1983 World Championships and the 1984 Olympics. In 1983–84, he was named to the SM-Liiga All-star team.

For the 1984–85 season, Skriko signed with the Canucks and went to North America. He enjoyed a solid rookie season, finishing with 21 goals and 35 points in 72 games, good for eighth on the team in scoring.

In 1985–86, Skriko emerged as a star for the Canucks, leading the team with 78 points. From 1985–89, he recorded four consecutive 30-goal seasons, and twice led the Canucks in scoring. In November 1986, he recorded three hat tricks in eight days, and became the first-ever Canuck named NHL Player of the Month.

In 1989–90, however, his totals fell to 15 goals and 48 points. After a slow start to the 1990–91 season, Skriko was dealt to the Boston Bruins for a draft pick. His play picked up somewhat in Boston, as he recorded 19 points in 28 games for the Bruins, and added eight more points in the playoffs en route to the conference finals.

In 1991–92 he was traded again, to the Winnipeg Jets, finishing the season with three goals in 24 games. He signed with the San Jose Sharks for 1992–93, but was released two months into the season and returned to Europe.

After a brief stint back in the SM-Liiga, Skriko moved to the Danish league with Herning IK in 1993. He would be one of the best players ever to play in Denmark, helping his team to four championships and earning two Player of the Year honours. He would retire in 1999, but continue on as the team's head coach, winning another title in that capacity in 2001. He would then return to Finland to coach SaiPa for three seasons.

In nine seasons in the NHL, Skriko recorded 183 goals and 222 assists for 405 points in 541 games, along with 246 penalty minutes. Including his time in Europe, he would spend 20 seasons as a pro, recording over 1200 points in 1000+ games.

International career

Skriko is one of the most decorated players in Finnish international hockey history. He would help Team Finland to a Silver medal at the 1981 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships, and a Bronze at the 1982 World Juniors, where he was named the tournament's top forward. He represented Finland at the 1984 Winter Olympics - again leading the team in scoring - and the 1992 Winter Olympics. He would also play in the 1983, 1985, and 1987 World Championships, and the 1987 and 1991 Canada Cups. Altogether, he appeared in 55 senior international games for Finland, recording 17 goals and 33 points.

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Living octopus

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