Santeri Hatakka

Born: 2001-01-15

Team: Ilves

Position: Defenseman

Shoots: Left

Height / Weight: 6-1 / 194


Hatakka has impressed in his first two games at the 2021 World Juniors. The rugged and mobile defenseman played on the first pairing with Ville Heinola as Finland beat convincingly Germany and Switzerland. Hatakka displays great skating ability as he moves well in all directions – he’s tough to get around. Defensively, he is assertive, strong in battles and uses his physical attributes to his advantage. He takes care of his own end. He can jump into the attack and activate up the ice – makes good reads and processes his offensive options well. He moved into space from the blueline and made a great pass to set up Anton Lundell for a goal against Germany. However, on one occasion he turned the puck over in the offensive zone as he didn’t have enough support and the Germans scored on a quick transition play. Since being drafted by the San Jose Sharks, Hatakka has improved his overall game a lot, especially his ability to create offense up the ice.


Hatakka’s overall performance was strong in a 5-4 win over TUTO U20. The strong-skating Jokerit U20 defenseman had the most ice-time on his team, logging 22 minutes and 30 seconds. He was excellent on the penalty kill where he managed to clear the zone several times. His gap control in the neutral zone was solid, he was willing to play the body and took away time from opponents quickly. He scored the 2-0 goal as he jumped into the play, gained a step ahead from the defender and finished off with a backhander. Hatakka showed nice vision from time to time, moving the puck well up the ice. He was active offensively and made plays at both ends of the rink. His puck skills may not be truly high end, but he can contribute offensively and join the attack at the right times. His straight-line speed is very good.


Hatakka played in two of three Jokerit games at the U20 tournament. He stood out more in the final game against JYP and was counted on in all situations for his team. Hatakka is mobile and skates well in all directions. He carried the puck pretty effectively into the zone on a couple of occasions. He made one very good breakout to exit the zone and also set up a scoring chance with a good pass from below the goal line. Although he can still be prone to making mistakes with the puck, his puck management was much improved from the past season. He doesn’t have the fastest hands but still possesses adequate puck skills. His active feet allowed to apply pressure quickly in the defensive zone. Not overly physical but he’s strong on his skates and has decent physical presence. He did a good job of getting into passing lanes in his own end. Hatakka was one of the better Jokerit players here in my book.