Training Staff

Off-ice training and rehabilitation is managed by Hero Mali and Kai Turkulainen. The massage therapist is Niko Toivonen. Esa Maunula is the equipment manager and his assistants are Antti Nuortila and Tuukka Hurskainen. The medical team consists of Peter Åström, Mathias Bäck and Aleksi Kallioniemi.

Strength coach and physiotherapist: Hero Mali

Hero joined Jokerit as a strength coach and physiotherapist before the season 2017-18. He has a long history working at the top of Finnish ice hockey.

Before moving to Helsinki, Hero worked for Finnish SM-liiga side Ässät Pori since 2008 as a physiotherapist and strength coach. He's also served in the Finnish U20 national team for three years and the Finnish men's national team during the 2016-17 season. Hero has also many times been one of the strength coaches at summer training camps held by the Dallas Stars of the NHL. Before he joined Ässät, he worked as a physiotherapist for the bandy side Narukerä.

Head Equipment Manager: Esa Maunula, b. 28 June 1964, Helsinki, Finland

Esa started his Jokerit career as an equipment manager for the A-junior team in 1990-1991. After a long break, he came back to Jokerit in 2010-2011 after working for Finnish national youth teams for more than a decade. The teams he worked with won a silver medal in IIHF World U18 Championships, and four bronze medals in IIHF World U20 Championships.

Esa - who has played American football himself - is responsible for buying and maintaining equipment for Jokerit’s 1st team and junior teams. He also ensures the cleanliness of the changing rooms. In his own youth, Esa also played hockey in Jokerit until the B-junior level.

Assistant Equipment Manager: Antti Nuortila, b. 4 July 1980, Nurmijärvi, Finland

Antti came for an internship at Jokerit in 2003-2004. Although his main job was as the assistant equipment manager, he was also a masseur. His full-time career in Jokerit started in 2008-2009.

A keen practitioner of many sports, Antti’s job in Jokerit is to support Esa. As an assistant equipment manager, Antti handles the practicalities, such as skate sharpening and equipment repair, while Esa is focused more on the administrative side.

Massage Therapist: Niko Toivonen, b. 14 February 1978, Helsinki, Finland

Niko starts his 14th season as massage therapist for Jokerit. He joined the team as full-time Masseur in 2000 replacing “Pire”. Niko also helps equipment managers with 1st team daily activities. In his own words, he does everything except skate sharpening.

Niko has also played hockey himself. He played in HIFK until the B-junior level before moving to Kiekko-Vantaa as an A-junior. At Kiekko-Vantaa, he played three seasons before going to massage therapist school. He has also international experience after playing one season of junior hockey in Toronto.

Physiotherapist: Kai Turkulainen, b. 27 May 1968, Parikkala, Finland

Kai started his internship as the sports masseur for Jokerit in the early 1990s while the team camp was located at Vierumäki. After graduating in the late 1990s as a physioterapist, he worked with the Finnish national team from 2000 to 2003. He has an extensive background with Jokerit; he played several years in Jokerit Kontula Ottawa Silver Seven before switching to Karhu-Kissat. Kai stopped playing at A-junior level and studied to become a sports masseur.

Equipment Manager Assistant: Tuukka Hurskainen, b. 10 March 1989, Kitee, Finland

In the 2014-2015 season, Tuukka will work as assistant equipment manager both in Jokerit’s 1st team and A-juniors team. He became a part of the Jokerit family in 2012 at a junior training summer camp in Kitee. Tuukka started in Jokerit in spring 2013 and worked for the A-junior team as a full-time equipment manager during the 2013-14 season.

Tuukka has been interested in ice hockey from an early age. After stopping club hockey at B-junior age, he still plays in various amateur teams. His goal is to learn something new about equipment management work every day.

Doctor: Peter Åström, b. 19 September 1973, Helsinki, Finland

Peter is a trained physiotherapist, Licentiate of Medicine and a Specialist in Orthopedics and Traumatology. He started as the doctor for Jokerit’s A-junior team in the beginning of the 2000s when the team was still playing in Pirkkola. Peter was transferred to the Finnish SM-liiga for 2007-08, alongside Jammu. During the 2012-14 seasons, he worked as the doctor for Espoon Blues before returning to Jokerit.

Alongside Jokerit, Peter is on the Medical Committee of the American Football Federation as well as the doctor for Finland’s American football national team. Peter used to play American football himself. Nowadays, his free-time is mostly filled with driving his own kids to their hobbies.

Doctor: Mathias Bäck, b. 30 September 1980, Helsinki, Finland

Mathias joined Jokerit’s medical team for the 2015-16 season after serving as team doctor for the U20 team for two years. Mathias is a paramedic and a licentiate of medicine who is specializing towards orthopedics and traumatology.

Before he started working in hockey, Mathias has been a doctor at motocross events, in rally and also in various track events in motorsport. Nowadays, Mathias is only focusing on hockey. His hobbies are golf and gym.

Doctor: Aleksi Kallioniemi, b. 2.1.1975, Espoo

Aleksi joined Jokerit's doctor team for the 2017-18 season. He also works at Pohjola Sairaala as a specialist of physical education and as a doctor of sports. Aleksi has worked as team doctor for the the Finnish national men's basketball team and still continues at that post.

During seasons 2007-10, Aleksi was a part of the medical team for Espoo Blues' ice hockey team. His hobbies are climbing, roller skating, downhill skiing and cycling.

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