BAKERSFIELD Calif – The Bakersfield Condors, host of the 2010-11 ECHL All-Star Classic, signed veteran Mika Suoraniemi and rookie Yan Turcotte. The announcement was made by Head Coach Marty Raymond.
Suoraniemi, 30, is a veteran of 11 professional seasons, all in the European ranks and primarily in his homeland of Finland. The 6-1, 180-pound left wing played last season with the Stavanger Oilers in Norway, recording 36 points (17g-19a) in 45 games and claiming the Norwegian Championship. He played three seasons in the Finnish Elite League (SM-liiga), from 2001-04 with the legendary TPS, a team that has won 11 SM-liiga titles and has churned out NHL stars such as the Koivu brothers (Saku and Mikko), Jere Lehtinin, Miikka Kiprusoff, and others. By ECHL rules, only games played by Suoraniemi in the SM-liiga count in his career totals for veteran status, leaving him shy of qualifying as an actual “veteran” by ECHL standards.
Turcotte, 26, will make his pro debut this season for Bakersfield, after wrapping up a five-year college career at McGill University, where he played alongside former Condors D Ken Morin. He served as a team captain last season, helping lead McGill to a Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) Championship. In 2009-10 he led the team with 120 penalty minutes, adding to his McGill career record total, and also led all McGill defensemen with nine goals and was second with 25 points in 27 games.