Olli Maatta, Penguins defenceman, to join Finnish military after season

Olli Maatta, the Pittsburgh Penguins 21-year-old defenceman, is set to join Finland's military on April 18, according to Finnish reporter Juha Hiitela.

Pro athletes not exempt from obligatory service

Penguins defenceman Olli Maatta will begin serving in the Finnish military after the season as part of an obligation where all able-bodied Finnish men between the ages of 18-28 must serve at least six months. (Matt Kincaid/Getty Images)

Olli Maatta, the Pittsburgh Penguins' 21-year-old defenceman, is set to join Finland's military on April 18, according to Finnish reporter Juha Hiitela.

If Pittsburgh makes the playoffs, the date will be postponed.

Seth Rorabaugh of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette wrote about Finnish players serving in the military back in 2013.

Because of Maatta's NHL career, serving six consecutive months could be troublesome. He's expected to break up his service into a few summers in order to complete it.

Hiitela also mentioned some prominent NHL players that still have outstanding service obligations: Alexander Barkov, Rasmus Ristolainen, Teuvo Teravainen and Kasperi Kapanen still need to serve. 

Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu, Kimmo Timonen and Tuukka Rask all completed their service before reaching the NHL, but Hiitela noted that with players reaching the league at younger ages, the mandatory service time could become a bigger issue. 


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