Before the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championships began, Team Finland was a favorite heading into the tournament. Fortunately for the NY Islanders and their fans, Finland was pegged as a favorite largely due to Aatu Räty who continues to prove that 31 NHL teams should not have passed up on him, some more than once. On Sunday, Räty helped Finland dominate Slovakia 9-3, propelling them to 3-0 in the tournament.
Finlands top line of Räty, Roni Hirvonen, and Joakim Kemell continues to click, racking up a total of seven points on Sunday, three of those points contributed by Räty scoring a goal and adding two helpers. The 19-year-old Islanders prospects now has eight points (three goals, five assists) in the tournament through three contests, trailing Canada's Mason McTavish by two points.
Räty's team-leading third tournament goal was Finland's fifth goal of the game, padding their lead 5-2. Kemell's pass went just out of Räty's reach hopping off the boards. The Oulunsalo native displayed excellent situational awareness and quick thinking, shooting the puck on net without hesitation beating Slovak goaltender Simon Latkoczy. Despite showing the skill in the World Juniors tournament, it's the kind of heads up, quick thinking you want to see out of a prospect that should help them become successful at the NHL level.
Räty assisted Finland's seventh goal scored by Kasper Simontaival and the eighth goal scored by Kasper Puutio. Matias Rajaniemi registered his first point of the tournament tallying an assist on Kalle Vaisanen's goal to open the third period. Eetu Liukas didn't notch any points, however, he played a strong game for Finland.
Finland faces their biggest test when they take on William Dufour and Canada on Monday night. Both teams are favorites in the tournament, and each is 3-0 headed into their matchup.