The Draft Mindset: Samu Tuomaala

Successful NHL franchises are built through the draft. For that reason, it is never too early to start looking ahead at potential draft options for the Philadelphia Flyers in 2021. As of now, the 2021 NHL Entry Draft is set for July 23–24, 2021. It is unknown how the event will be held, whether virtual again or held in an arena. Depending on how well the Flyers do this season will determine where they pick in the first round. If the Flyers end up around the 23rd overall range like last year, a potential pick is Finnish forward Samu Tuomaala.

2021 NHL Entry Draft Scouting Report: Samu Tuomaala

For most of Tuomaala’s career, he has played with the Kärpät organization in Finland. Last year, Tuomaala scored 15 goals and notched eight assists for 23 total points in 40 games played with Karpat. This season he is off to a competent start with the organization, in the U20 SM-sarja, posting five goals and eight assists for 13 points. He has also played in four Liiga games but has registered no points. 

In the 2020 CHL Import draft, Tuomaala was selected 31st overall by the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League. He decided not to report to North America after signing a two-year contract with Kärpät of the Liiga. 

Flyers fans would love him because he is a speedy forward with natural goal-scoring instincts. He is one of the best shooters in the draft with a quick release shot that he can fire from a close and far range and a deadly accurate one-timer. Tuomaala is a player that will rack up quite a few shots on goal per game. He was one of the leaders in shots on goal per game in the Finnish league. His hands and on-ice awareness give him the unique ability to zoom around the ice to look for a passing or a shot lane. The forward does a relatively good job of controlling the puck in multiple ways and beating defenders in one-on-one situations with his quick hands and speed. 

Tuomaala has overall sound offensive skills. But because he is more of a “shoot-first” type of player, he will need to develop the skill of using his teammates more often. 

Tuomaala will also have to develop a more adaptable defensive game if he wants to play at the next level. He has the ability to read plays well but will need to be more physically reliable in his own end. But from many European scouting reports, he continues to improve. 

Overall, selecting a forward like Tuomaalo would give the Flyers a crafty forward who plays a well built offensive game.

Photo by Devin Manky/Icon Sportswire

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