. He is a retired professional ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...
player and coach.
Veli-Pekka Ketola played in the Finnish League, World Hockey Association
The World Hockey Association was a professional ice hockey league that operated in North America from 1972 to 1979. It was the first major competition for the National Hockey League since the collapse of the Western Hockey League in 1926...
, and National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...
. While Ketola was playing for the Ässät
Ässät is an ice hockey team in the Finnish elite league, SM-liiga. They play in Pori, Finland at the Porin jäähalli.-Team history:...
of the Finnish League, he won the league scoring twice in 1971 and 1979 and was a six-time all-star.
In 1974, Ketola came to North America to play for the Winnipeg Jets of the World Hockey Association. He played just over two and a half seasons, from 1974–75 to 1976–77, for the Jets and he played the last 17 games of the 1976–77 WHA season for the Calgary Cowboys
The Calgary Cowboys were an ice hockey team that played two seasons in the World Hockey Association from 1975–1977. The Cowboys played at the Stampede Corral in Calgary. The franchise was founded in 1972 as the Miami Screaming Eagles, though it never played a game in Miami...
. After those three years in the WHA, he went back to Finland to once again play for the Ässät Pori. Despite being signed by the Vancouver Canucks
The Vancouver Canucks are a professional ice hockey team based in Vancouver, :British Columbia, Canada. They are members of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League . The Canucks play their home games at Rogers Arena, formerly known as General Motors Place,...
on 6 March 1979, he didn't play for a North American team again until he played 44 games for the Colorado Rockies
The Colorado Rockies were an American professional ice hockey team in the National Hockey League that played in Denver, Colorado, from 1976 to 1982. They were a relocation of the Kansas City Scouts, a 1974 expansion team. The franchise moved to East Rutherford, New Jersey, in 1982 and was...
of the NHL during the 1981–82 season.
Veli-Pekka Ketola coached Ässät Pori of the Finnish League from 1993–94 season to 1996–97 season's first six games.
Honours and accolades
- Six-time all-star in Finland.
- Elected to the Finnish Ice Hockey Hall of Fame in 1990 as a player.
- Won the Best Hockey Player of Finland Trophy in 1974 and 1978.
- Won the Matti Keinonen trophy
The Matti Keinonen trophy is an ice-hockey award given by the Finnish SM-liiga to the "most effective player" of the season .-Trophy winners:...
- His number 13 was retired by Assat Pori.
- He won the Veli-Pekka Ketola trophy
The Veli-Pekka Ketola trophy is an ice hockey trophy awarded by the Finnish SM-liiga to the player who scores the most points during regular season play.To date, Steve Kariya and Martin Kariya are the only two brothers to win the title.Trophy winners:...
the year it was introduced (1978).
- Led the Finnish League in scoring in 1971.