The Philadelphia Flyers have announced today that they have signed 2021 draft pick forward Samu Tuomaala to an entry-level contract. The financial details surrounding his ELC have not been disclosed yet.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) August 14, 2021
Flyers Sign Samu Tuomaala
Tuomaala was one of the top European prospects heading into the 2021 NHL Draft. He spent his draft year playing for Karpat U20 in Finland, scoring 15 goals and 16 assists for 31 points in 30 games. He also had one goal and three assists in five playoff games. Tuomaala additionally appeared in five games with the primary Karpat team, with zero points. Finally, he appeared in the U18 World Juniors, scoring 11 points in seven games. He was tied for fifth in scoring at that tournament.
Tuomaala is a goal scorer. He loves to shoot and his goal totals indicate exactly that. He effectively positions himself in dangerous shooting locations instead of shooting from the perimeter. His skating is what gets him into these positions. He gets breakaway opportunities and converts on many of them and possesses great edge work, allowing him to stay stable through tight spaces. Tuomaala also has a great hockey IQ, demonstrated by his good positioning and finding space to generate chances or shoot.
One aspect that Tuomaala needs to work on is acceleration. He has decent acceleration but doesn’t have the power stride to increase acceleration and push him over the edge. He also needs to work on stickhandling. Tuomaala is good at stickhandling, but that is the case if he has open ice or if the defender reads the play well and knows what he is about to do.
What To Expect Moving Forward
Considering that most scouts had Tuomaala ranked in the 20-38 range, the Flyers picking him at 46th overall was a great-value draft pick. Tuomaala is a solid prospect being added to an already decent prospect pool. However, he still has lots to fine-tune in his game. He projects to be a third-line forward, with upside to be a second-line forward. It could be at least three seasons before he gets an opportunity to play in the NHL. However, the best thing to do with a new prospect is to let him develop as much as he requires, then give him a fair opportunity when the time is right. He will either be on the Flyers roster this season, he’ll more than likely return to Europe and play with Karpat.
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