Joni Tuulola

Hometown:

Hameenlinna Finland

Currently Playing In:

Europe

Birthday:

1996-01-01

Position:

D

Eligible for draft:

2014

Shoots:

Left

Drafted:

2015

Height:

6-2

Acquired:

6th round (181st overall), 2015

Weight:

185 lbs.

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History

2010-11: Joni Tuulola appeared in three games with HPK Hameenlinna’s U18 team; skating most of the year with the club’s U16 squad. He had 1 assist and 2 penalty minutes in those three games. Tuulola scored 4 goals with 12 assists and 30 penalty minutes in 31 regular season games for HPK’s U16 team and was scoreless with 2 penalty minutes in three playoff contests.

2011-12: Tuulola split the year between HPK’s U18 and U16 teams and played for Finland’s U16 team; representing Finland in the 2011 Youth Olympic Games. He scored 1 goal with 7 assist and had 28 penalty minutes in 24 games for HPK’s U18 team. In 13 games with the club’s U16 squad he scored 4 goals with 7 assists and had 37 penalty minutes. He scored 1 goal with 5 assists and was +4 with six penalty minutes in 14 international contests for the Finland U16 team. In six games at the YOG he scored 1 goal with 2 assists and was +4 with 4 penalty minutes.

2012-13: Tuulola appeared in six regular season games for HPK’s Junior A champion U20 team and was the second-leading scorer amongst defensemen for the club’s U18 team. He had 1 assist and was -3 with 4 penalty minutes in Junior A play. Tuulola scored 10 goals with 21 assists and had 26 penalty minutes in 41 regular season U18 games and had an assist and 25 penalty minutes in seven playoff contests. Tuulola played for Finland’s U17 team at the 2013 World Hockey Challenge; scoring 1 goal with 1 assist and 6 penalty minutes in five games.

2013-14: Tuulola made the successful jump from HPK’s U18 team to it’s U20 squad as a 17-year-old. In his first 30 games in A juniors he scored 4 goals with 12 assists and was +17 with 12 penalty minutes. He played ten games for HPK’s U18 team and scored 3 goals with 9 assists and 2 penalty minutes. Tuulola was ranked 47th amongst European skaters in Central Scouting’s mid-term rankings prior to the 2014 NHL Draft.

 2014-15: Tuulola skated in 32 regular season games for HPK in his first Liiga season, missing time in mid-season due to a knee injury that kept him out of the 2015 World Junior Champiionship. He scored 5 goals with 5 assists and was -5 with 8 penalty minutes. HPK missed the playoffs, finishing 11th in the 14-team league. Tuulola played six games with the HPK U20 team, finishing +4 with 4 assists and 2 penalty minutes. He was ranked 32nd amongst international skaters in the Central Scouting final rankings in his second year of draft eligibility and was selected by Chicago in the sixth round (181st overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft. 

Talent Analysis

Tuulola is the son of HPK's all-time leading scorer, forward Marko Tuulola, so it's no surprise that offense is a big part of his game. He possesses a lot of skill and skates well. While he has played an abrasive game at times, he is still developing in terms of size and strength and will need to improve in both areas to compete at the higher levels of pro hockey.

Future

Tuulola projects to being an offensive defenseman at the pro level. Not yet at the level that a player like Sami Vatanen (ANH) was at this stage of his junior career, Tuulola is a bit bigger and does play a physical game at times. Like most young players, will have to add size and strength to compete at the pro level but his transition game fits well with the faster pace of today's NHL.

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