2016 NHL Draft Radar: Eetu Tuulola

With a name like Eetu Tuulola, it isn’t going to take a lot for someone to remember your name. Luckily for Tuulola he has the game to back it all up. The big Finnish winger may not be Puljujarvi or Laine but he may have carved out a niche all on his own. If you have a motor that never stops, you’ll find your way into the league. Tuulola is going to have a long path to the league, does that effect his status on draft night?

Tuulola is the nineteenth ranked European skater according to the NHL CS rankings.

The Stats

Tuulola bounced around teams when he was younger to varying degrees of success. He had times where he succeeded as a big fish in a small pond, yet never could keep above water against his peers. He did well in the U-18 World Junior championships as well. He has the attributes to be a good player, he just needs to prove it against men. His time in Liiga over in Finland should be a good test. Will he sink or swim?

The Eye Test

Curtis Joe of Elite Prospects had nice things to say about the bulldog of a winger:

“A sizey winger with great offensive instincts. Drives to the net hard and leans into his hits. Displays slick puckhandling skills and a hard shot that he needs to use more. Skates with balance, but needs to get faster. Works very hard and doesn’t take shifts off. Needs to be more active in his own end and pressure the opposition into making more rushed plays. All-in-all, a competitive winger with the size and skills to be a difference maker in games.”

Chris Dilks of SB Nation had this to say about Tuulola’s pro prospects:

“As I said above, what you see is likely what you’re going to get with Tuulola. He’s never going to be a huge scorer, but he was outstanding in his third line role for Finland at the U18s, and he could potentially fill that role at the NHL level. He likely won’t be fast enough to play on a shutdown defensive line, but his physical tools will make him very tough to play against.”

Does he fit with the Red Wings?

Gritty? Check. Strong? Check. Good pedigree? Check. He is everything that a modern Red Wings player is today. Do they want that kind of player? Tuulola isn’t necessarily fast and he isn’t the smoothest player in the world. His potential probably tops out at a bottom six winger. Those are all fine and dandy, they just shouldn’t be picked in the first two rounds. Tuulola is going to slip some and could be selected in round three, just depends on the team and what they could possibly be looking for on draft day. Solid, just not anything special.