After one season in Sweden, he moved to HPK in Finland. There, he had a solid offensive season for a defenseman with 35 points in 49 games and was given the Pekka Rautakallio Trophy as Best Defenseman in the SM-Liiga.
Establishing a knack for choosing the right situation throughout his career, Rafalski joined HIFK of Helsinki and promptly won the league championship in 1998. He once again was named Best Defenseman in the league for the 1998-99 season while still with HIFK, as he scored 53 points, an average of a point per game. In a vote of the players, he was also awarded the Golden Helmet as the best player overall.