Aron Kiviharju, 17, experienced a shocking setback – Now speaks maturely about his feelings: “I’m not ashamed to admit it”

Aron Kiviharju may not play the next time until the under-18 World Cup tournament in April. Fall has been mentally tough for the HIFK player.

  • Aron Kiviharju will probably not be fit until April.
  • The 17-year-old package promise is reserved for the NHL in June.
  • The player has received a lot of support from HIFK during the injury.

HIFK’s 17-year-old super talent Aron Kiviharju was injured during training in a trivial situation on October 3rd.

The youngster’s season was pretty much over. The return looms only in the distant spring.

– The patella broke in that situation. It was an accident, and you couldn’t have prepared for it. On October 21, the lump was cut in Turku. Lasse Lempainen and Ari Itälä did the operation, Kiviharju told Iltalehte.

Kiviharju has been considered one of the most talented players in his age group in the whole world. He will be reserved for the NHL in June 2024.

Ahead of time

TPS educator Aron Kiviharju has spent the autumn working on rehabilitation. The 17-year-old promising defenseman last skated at the beginning of October. MIKKO HUISKO

Kiviharju is a little ahead of schedule in the long recovery process. On Thursday, December 21, the young man had a doctor’s check-up.

– I don’t really know how Mr. Lempainen could be bribed so that he would give me permission to return to the ice. Mentally, it would be a big deal to put on the equipment and go play with the puck a little. I don’t have to do inline skating yet, but it would be important to get where I belong.

– So I’m about to return to the ice after the inspection or at the latest probably at the turn of the year. Otherwise, I can practice almost anything. I don’t run and jump yet, the player says.

Dark days

Aron Kiviharju managed to play seven games in the fall before the knee injury. The defender would have gone to represent Finland in the under-20 World Cup tournament starting on Boxing Day. Mika Kylmäniemi

Kiviharju is a school of TPS. He moved to Helsinki for this season to a new club and environment. Right in the fall I got a bad injury.

The young man’s mind has been black at times.

– There have been days when it feels like the world is collapsing and nothing is working, but I guess that’s normal. I have talked about these issues openly with close friends at home and in the team.

Have you cried?

– Sometimes there have been tears, yes. Sometimes you have to cry away the bad moments. Yes, crying is normal, or at least that’s how I feel, says Kiviharju.

– Sometimes I have gone to the gym to forge iron, even if I had already been there in the morning. You have to try to recognize what the head needs at any given time. I’m an emotional person and I live many things with emotion – even those not related to hockey.

– I’m not ashamed to admit that crying can help when it’s bad, says the 17-year-old promise.

HIFK of good people

Aron Kiviharju has been rehabilitating his knee since October. MIKKO HUISKO

Despite everything, Kiviharju has tried to keep a positive attitude mindset above.

– I watch the games from above and try to learn that way. All in all, this injury at this age is a big place of growth for me.

The help of HIFK’s booth and organization has been close to Raisio.

– Credit must be given to the booth. My bad feeling and reactions are accepted there. The others have taken me extremely well. Players and maintenance. I am grateful to the entire staff for their help, says Kiviharju.

– We have other injured people in the team. Of course, everyone gets the same support here. We have good people in the booth, Kiviharju emphasizes.

Back to the rink

Second-generation puck player Aron Kiviharju has had to watch HIFK’s training from the sidelines for the past few months. MIKKO HUISKO

It will still take months to get fit.

– No days have been locked in regarding the return yet. At the latest at the under-18 World Cup camp, I’m fighting for a place in the competition. If I can get back earlier, it’s all home.

It may be that Kiviharju is ready to return only after the season ends. If the return speeds up, the youngster might play somewhere other than HIFK in the spring.

Alternatives could be HIFK’s A juniors, Kiekko-Vantaa or another league team.

– I am open to everything, but the matter has not been discussed yet. That’s not a topical issue yet.

HIFK has not yet considered Kiviharju’s playing venue.

– He will come back to the same competition situation. He needs to be able to play good hockey when he returns. The performances then determine where he plays, HIFK’s sports director Tobias Salmelainen says.

– As a club, it is also important for us to support the player’s personal goals, but this is something we have not discussed yet.


Before further deliberations about the games at the end of the season, the young hockey player goes to celebrate Christmas far away from the hustle and bustle of the capital.

– Let’s go to Kristiinakaupunki to grandma’s. The program includes food and rest, but exercise is also added somewhere in between.

– You have to do something. Otherwise, there will be symptoms if you can’t sweat.