What a busy Saturday! Just moments after bidding goodbye to Jakub Voracek and welcoming Cam Atkinson to the City of Brotherly Love, the Flyers were on the clock. After trading their first-round pick away in the Rasmus Ristolainen trade, this was to be their first pick of the Draft, making it that much more important.
They decided to pull the trigger on Finnish forward Samu Tuomaala, who spent last season with Kärpät of the Finnish Elite League.
Given the fact that COVID ripped through the Hockey world last year, players from the European leagues enter the Draft with heavier doses of tape available on them, given that the league’s pressed on while America was just beginning to feel the weight of the pandemic. Tuomaala is no exception, as he played in a total of 42 games last year, including an appearance at the U-18 World Juniors where he scored 11 points.
Tuomaala spent most of last year playing in the U20 league but played in five games in the top men’s Finnish division. It may not sound like much, but it could act as launchpad to seeing more time at a higher level next year. At the U20 level, he scored 31 points in 30 appearances, with 15 of them being goals.
The 5’10, 176 lbs, winger’s game is predicated on speed. He has some eye-popping burst to his skating and is able to carry the puck down the wing on breakaways at lightning pace. He will need to add some flair when he gets into the offensive zone and work out more creative ways to distribute the puck to his teammates, but with a firm and raw skillset that provides immediate value, there’s a lot that can be added before he gets to the NHL level.
We’ll be sure to bring you his first thoughts as a Flyer when he meets with the media following the conclusion of the Draft, so stay locked in and make sure you’re following @PhiladelphiaSN on Twitter for the latest Flyers news.
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre