Tomi Kallio had a long international career. He played for club teams in both Finland and Sweden, and was a regular on Finland's national team. He participated in nine world championships, two world junior championships and the 2002 Winter Olympics.
From 2000 to 2003 Kallio came to North American to give the National Hockey League his best shot. Originally a Colorado Avalanche draft pick (81st overall in 1995), he was claimed by the Atlanta Thrashers in the 1999 NHL expansion draft.
The goal-starved Thrashers were intrigued by what Kallio offered. He was a fast skater who played equally as hard at both ends of the ice. He had strong offensive instincts, but was more of a shooter than a playmaker. He regularly drove to the net in hopes for finding a puck appear on his opportunistic stick.
Kallio's game came with a lot of sandpaper. He relished the physical game, enjoying the bumps and grind. He was strong on his skates with good balance which allowed him to compete in such battles, even though he was not built like a classic power forward.
The aggressive play did come at a cost, however. Kallio suffered a couple of concussions that cost him significant time on the injured list.
In two seasons with the Thrashers Kallio contributed 22 goals and 49 points in 121 games. He then had brief appearances with Columbus and Philadelphia before returning to Europe part way through the 2002-03 season.
Had he been able to stay healthy Tomi Kallio could have been a 20 goal scorer in Atlanta and had a longer NHL career.
“I've enjoyed travelling around the world. I've benefited a lot from the experience and perspective I have gained over the last 15 years,” said Kallio.