The Calgary Flames have inked an international prospect, signing Eetu Tuulola to a three-year entry-level contract. Tuulola has played the last two seasons in Finland’s top professional league after spending a year with the Everett Silvertips of the WHL.
Selected in the sixth round three years ago, Tuulola was something of a lottery ticket for the Flames. He had shown and ability to score at the junior level in Finland, but it wasn’t clear how that would translate moving forward. In the WHL the season following his draft, those questions continued. Tuulola was only able to record a 31-point season for Everett, though he did come on with six goals in their short playoff run. That was a nice way to close out his only season in North America, but it would take another hefty step in his development to really put him into NHL contract contention.
That step and several more have happened over the last two seasons in Finland. The 6’2″ 215-lbs winger put up 36 points in 60 games this season for HPK, tying him for fourth among team forwards. He also contributed another six points in the team’s playoff run, which ultimately ended up in a Liiga title. That kind of success puts him on an excellent path towards the NHL, especially given his size and physicality. Tuulola can drive the net hard and power his way through defenders to create room for himself and his teammates. His next test will likely be the AHL, where he must produce offensively in order to continue on his current trajectory.