A large, hulking winger who is counted on to provide secondary scoring, Roby Jarventie struggled offensively at the World Junior Championship in 2021. Finland won the bronze medal in the event, but Jarventie went pointless in six games. That’s why he’s looking forward to some sweet redemption in 2022.
If he plays in the event at all, that is. As of mid-November, the Finnish Ice Hockey Association hadn’t told Jarventie if he had made the team. The 19-year-old could not join the Finnish team for the 2021 World Junior Summer Showcase in Plymouth, Mich., because he had not been double vaccinated at the time. Finland won the four-team event – with two under-20 teams from the U.S. and one from Sweden participating – without him. But his chances are bolstered by the fact he cracked the Belleville Senators’ American League lineup and had three goals and seven points in 13 games.
The NHL Senators had a COVID-19 outbreak in November and had to call up several minor-pro prospects, which gave Jarventie a chance to play a more prominent role in Belleville. “The start of the season was hard for me, and when a couple of guys got called up, I got more ice time and I started to produce more,” he said. “I’ve been having a lot of chances in my games, so I have to bury more goals.”
That would definitely be the case with the Finnish WJC team as well. Jarventie, the second pick in the second round of the 2020 draft by Ottawa, played limited minutes for the bronze-medal winners and managed to generate just eight shots. A year older, stronger and more experienced, he’s looking for better production. “I didn’t do so well,” Jarventie said. “I had high expectations, but I didn’t play well. But I was able to learn from that. I saw how good the top players are, so I keep working and I hope I can be there, too.”
Jarventie’s father, Martti Jarventie, is a former defenseman, drafted at 25 in the fourth round by the Montreal Canadiens in 2001. He played one NHL game in 2001-02, then played for a remarkable seven teams in the Finnish League – Ilves Tampere, Lukko, TPS, Jokerit, Karpat, IFK Helsinki and HPK. Martti played in the WJC in 1995 and ’96 and served as captain at the 1996 tournament in Boston.
Jarventie hopes to match his father’s WJC success. “I’m hoping I can do well this year,” Jarventie said. “If I have success, the team will have success and that’s the most important thing.”