THUNDER BAY, Ontario – Pentti Lund, the first Finnish-born player to score a goal in the NHL and the 1948-49 rookie of the year with the New York Rangers, has died. He was 87.
The Rangers said Wednesday that Lund died Tuesday in his hometown of Thunder Bay. Born in Karijoki, Finland, Lund moved with his family to the Thunder Bay area when he was 6.
After serving in the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II, Lund made his NHL debut with the Boston Bruins in the 1947-48 season, appearing in two playoff games. He was dealt to the Rangers in the offseason and had 14 goals and 16 assists in 59 games to win the Calder Trophy as the top rookie.
The next season, Lund help the Rangers upset Montreal and advance to the Stanley Cup final, where they lost Game 7 in double overtime to Detroit. Lund sustained a serious eye injury from a high stick in the 1950-51 season, his last with the Rangers. He spent the following two seasons with Boston before retiring.
He had 44 goals and 55 assists in 259 career NHL games.
After retiring, Lund began a hockey writer with the Fort William Times-Journal and later served as the sports editor of the Thunder Bay Times-News.