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Manchester Storm are delighted to announce the signing of Finnish forward Santeri Haarala, most recently of Unterland (AlpsHL).
The 23-year-old, import forward, will be the Storm’s first player from Finland when he makes his Elite League debut in September 2023.
Haarala is a product of the Vaasan Sport hockey system representing the club from u16’s into the professional set-up.
During his time with Sport, Haarala made 42 Liiga appearances tallying 13 points (7G 6A). The forward was also loaned out to Hermes and Hokki of the Finnish second-tier (Metis) where he produced 25 points (9G 16A) – in a typically defensive and low-scoring division.
The young forward left Finland for Unterland, Italy in 2022 – who play in the cross-border Alps Hockey League. The former employer of British coach – Paul Thompson, would be the residency of Haarala.
The move away from his homeland would prove mightily effective as the forward finished on 55 points (21G 34A) leading his club in points and placing him second overall within the entire league for total points.
This breakout year drew the admiration of many suitors within the Elite League and the Storm are thrilled to have Haarala confirmed for the 2023/24 campaign.
Head Coach, Matt Ginn, had this to say about his latest recruit: “Santeri is a high end offensive player that is coming off a big year in the Alps League. He is a very shifty player that drives the play and makes his linemates around him better. He can really shoot the puck and has a nice finishing touch around the net. Santeri is still a young player, but has lots of pro experience including time in the Liiga. I’m excited to add him to our group.”
New signing, Sateri Haarala commented on his move to Manchester: “I’m very excited to join the Manchester Storm this season. I’ve heard Manchester has great fans and I can’t wait to play in front of them soon and help the team win.”
PLAYER SPONSORSHIP: If you’re interested in sponsoring a Manchester Storm player or member of the coaching staff for the 2023/24 Elite League season, please contact RF@storm-office.com for more information!