It’s time for another Calgary Flames prospect update! Let’s check out winger Eetu Tuulola who went back to play in Finland this past season.
Tuulola wasn’t drafted until the sixth round at the 2016 NHL Draft. Just like fellow prospect Matthew Phillips! Tuulola was taken ten picks higher. It was understandable that Tuulola wasn’t taken until the sixth round. He didn’t have overly impressive junior-level numbers and he wasn’t really a highly touted prospect. But that’s in the past! Let’s look at him this past year.
He participated at the World Junior Summer Showcase this past summer for Team Finland, along with five other Flames prospects. He ended up making Team Finland at the World Juniors for his first U20 competition (he represented Finland at the U18 competition two years ago where Finland won gold).
Via Calgary Flames:
“He’s playing with the men now and all the reports we’ve gotten have been positive,” says Flames’ director of amateur scouting Tod Button.
“The tournament that really put him over the top for us was the Under-18 in North Dakota.”
“You’d like to see him be that prototypical power-forward type, someone who creates space for the smaller guys, goes hard to the net.
“In a tournament like this, we’re hoping he’s the one to get the greasy goals, the one counted on to, as I said, create room, especially against the bigger teams.
“We’d like to see him start doing that on a more consistent basic.
“This is a big tournament for him in terms of development.”
Coming off a season with the Everett Silvertips of the WHL, he went back home to play for the Liiga in Finland, playing for HPK. He put up 16 goals and 26 points in 51 games. In the middle of the season, as I’ve mentioned, he played for Team Finland at the World Juniors with fellow prospect Juuso Valimaki acting as captain. Finland made it to the quarter-finals and came incredibly close, but couldn’t quite pull through. They lost in a shootout to the Czech Republic.
Tuulola had three shots in that final game and he was pointless in the three games he played. With him turning 20 this year, that was his final World Juniors competition.
It seems unlikely that Tuulola will be making an NHL debut anytime soon. The Flames haven’t signed him to an ELC he may just end up staying in Finland to play a majority of his career there. But, as the great Eetu Tuulola once said, everything is possible in this life.