The Calgary Flames used their first pick Friday to draft Tri-City Americans defenseman Juuso Välimäki 16th overall at the NHL Draft in Chicago.
Välimäki, a native of Nokia, Finland, is the first Tri-City defenseman taken in the first round since Shawn Belle went 30th overall to the St. Louis Blues in 2003.
With teammate Michael Rasmussen taken ninth overall by the Detroit Red Wings, it marks the first time since 1996 that the Americans had two players selected in the first round. Dan Focht went to Phoenix (11th overall), while Jaroslav Svejkovsky was taken by Washington with the 17th overall pick.
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The 6-foot-2, 211-pound Välimäki scored 19 goals and 42 assists in 60 games last season. He also played for Finland at the World Junior Championship.
Välimäki is the third Tri-City player the Flames have drafted over the years. They took Patrick Holland in the seventh round (193rd) in 2010, and Matt Schneider in the seventh round (200th) in 2004.