Keep your eyes on the stars! – 05.10.2017

Champions Cup 2017 in Seinäjoki is about the start and these are just a few of the multitude of floorball stars we are about to see in action.

Swedish IKSU and local Classic must be seen as favorites to make the final. That’s also where to look for the biggest stars of the women’s tournament.

5. Johanna Hultgren, IKSU

The right-shooting IKSU forward will be just 21 this month and she is becoming a regular in the Swedish national team. Known as an annoying player for the opponent, she is likely to found in the middle of whatever controversy on the rink. Hultgren is hard to stop when she curves her run in for a shot. No megastar yet but an interesting and colorful player indeed.

4. Ella Alanko, Classic

The Finnish center stars in a major role both in Classic and in the national team and she carries it all: quick legs and hands and an understanding for the game. An entertaining and speedy player who likes to work hard and does not shy away from the physical part in the corners.

3. Amanda Delgado Johansson, IKSU

Just 21 years old but already one of the stars in the Swedish national team. “DJ” shoots right and she everything it takes for a top forward; she is skillful, hungry for goals and extremely hard to stop. She won the 2015 WFC for Sweden with her two goals in the penalty shootout in the final against Finland.

2. Nina Rantala, Classic

Just like Ella Alanko, Nina Rantala is a key player in both Classic’s and the Finnish national team’s first line. The 29-year forward has scored truckloads of points in the Finnish league every season and she just has to deliver should Classic wish to bring more from Seinäjoki than just useful experience.

1. Cornelia Fjellstedt, IKSU

This 24-year old Swedish national team star is an intelligent and versatile player who has no trouble playing as either a center or a defender. A coach’s dream performer with a great eye or the game and soft hands. The left-shooting Fjellstedt somehow always finds herself at the right place at the right time both in offense and in defense.

For our list of particularly interesting players, ine could almost as well pick IKSU’s national team goalie Emelie Frisk, experienced defender Emelie Wibron, Classic’s defensive line guru Hanna Sipiläinen, the ever-so-hungry-for-goals Eliisa Alanko, young TPS sniper Jenna Saario, Dietlikon’s rising star Andrea Gämperli or their experienced national team player Michelle Wiki. Czech Tigers Jizni Miesto stars Denisa Billa who has done no less than seven WFC tournaments and who has also played in the Finnish league.

In the men’s Champions Cup, IBF Falun is a clear favorite to take home yet another trophy. These are some of the big names in that tournament.

5. Jussi Piha, Classic

The now 30-year center has always been one of the best playmakers but fitter than ever, working out more has made him one of the top players in Salibandyliiga. He is one of the centers who always seems to make his line mates better and it is particularly hard to guess his next move.

4. Matthias Hofbauer, Wiler-Ersigen

You could almost say Matthias Hofbauer has seen and experienced everything in floorball but Seinäjoki might be a new experience even for him.  With his 36 years of age, Hofbauer still is a key player for his team. An exemplarily hard-working two-way player who can also score the big goal as the Finnish national team bitterly got to witness in this summer’s World Games.

3. Rasmus Enström, Falun

Was elected the world’s number one player in 2013 and 2015 and you are about to see why. He is everything a coach could hope for: A fast, intelligent and versatile forward who can both shoot and make plays. Just 28 years next month which means he has a lot of top seasons left.

2. Krister Savonen, Classic

Seen by many as Salibandyliiga’s absolute top player. A skillful and classy defenseman who can also double as center. makes handling the ball in tight spots look deceivingly easy. Elected as world’s number seven last year, Savonen also made the WFC All Star team in Riga. He is one of the players who should carry Classic to success this weekend.

1. Alexander Galante Carlström, Falun

With his team scoring, you usually see Alexander Galante Carlström in the middle of it with his hands up. Was elected the number one player in the world last year because he is best at what is most important in floorball: scoring. The right shooting forward broke the Swedish Super league record with his 68 goals last season.

Here, too, one could add impressive names. Classic’s sniper Sami Johansson, feisty Joonas Pylsy, legend Lassi Vänttinen, classy defenseman Janne Lamminen, U19 world champion Joona Rantala. Anyone familiar with floorball knows Falun’s Jonas Adriansson, Emil Johansson and Johan Rehn, and there’s young talent there, too: Omar Aldeeb who starred in last year’s Allsvenskan.

Local SPV presents Jari Hankkio with massive will to win every time and Jyrki Holopainen’s elegant moves are a treat for the eye. Czech Florbal Chodov bring in strong defenseman Martin Prazan and Michal Podhrasky who made Finnish fans playing for TPS Turku.

Tatu Väänänen returning to Seinäjoki is a story itself. Having lead SPV to two Finnish titles in 2012 and 2013, he is about to be challenged by his former beloved teammates.