Raanta_kylki_inkkari-3Antti Raanta is bringing a little bit of Finland with him to the Chicago Blackhawks, and not just in terms of his playing style. Raanta’s new mask also has deep Finnish roots.

InGoal readers will already be familiar with the first tie to Raanta’s home country: painter Joni ‘Bona’ Hallikainen, a fellow-Finn and former pro goaltender whose work for former teammate Kari Lehtonen debuted here with his new Dallas Stars’ home jerseys before adding a new road version of the mask last week.

Raanta, who was widely sought after as a free agent this summer, gave Hallikainen simple instructions for his first NHL mask.

“Antti wanted to have large Blackhawks logos on the sides and number 31 on the chin,” said Hallikainen, who worked smaller Blackhawks logos subtly onto the chin and layered headdress feathers into the top. “Otherwise I had free hands to create a bold and clean design that pays honor to Chicago’s long history.”

The second distinctively Finnish component is the mask itself. While some in North America may not recognize the name Wall, European goaltenders have long known and used masks from the company, which was founded in 1991 in Kihniö, Finland by Finnish mask pioneer Petri Karvinen, right up to the top pro level.

Raanta’s model is the Wall W10, the full carbon fibre flagship model for the company, which handcrafts all its masks and can be found online.

As for Hallikainen, you can see more of his fantastic work, which includes making replicas of 1970s era NHL masks, by visiting his Facebook page or contact him directly by email.

 

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6 Responses to Raanta Adds Finnish Touch to New Blackhawks Mask

  1. Blaars60 says:

    This is a great design, one of the best I have seen so far this year and will be easily identifiable in the stands in Rockford and hopefully at the UC at some point. The only thing I would take out is the Blackhawks across the front otherwise this is spot on. Beautiful work.

  2. Marko Paavola says:

    Very awesome job again from Joni “Bona” Hallikainen.
    Great!

  3. Pasi says:

    Simple, cool design.

  4. js says:

    Nice but not great …. could use some yellow on the hawks face and the “C” … to bright somewthing up.

  5. Henri Tikka says:

    Can he really play NHL with that mask?
    Wall didn’t have NHL licence… or have they?

  6. Jonny V says:

    Just saw Raanta play his first NHL game tonight for the Hawks and he got a win! He even stopped Ovechkin in the shootout!! Great win

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