April 11, 2019


LB Roni Salonen (71) Finland during the CFL combine at the Varsity Stadium in Toronto, ON, Sunday, March 24, 2019. (Photo: Johany Jutras/CFL)

The Calgary Stampeders selected Finnish linebacker Roni Salonen with the ninth and final pick in today’s first-ever CFL European draft.

A 28-year-old native of the Finnish city of Vantaa – located 20 km north of Helsinki – Salonen has been playing for the New Yorker Lions in the German Football League since 2017.

Salonen was the Lions’ second-leading tackler in 2018 with 78 total tackles including 21 tackles for loss. He also recorded four sacks. He has 182 career total tackles for the Braunschweig-based club and has helped the Lions win two Eurobowls.

The six-foot-two, 220-lb. Salonen was a member of four Finnish league championship teams with the Helsinki Roosters in 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016 and he has also played for an Austrian team, the Swarco Raiders.

Salonen is scheduled to report for the Stampeders’ rookie camp, which begins May 16 at McMahon Stadium.