Lauri Tukonen

Lauri Tukonen

Hometown:

Hyvinkaa Finland

Currently Playing In:

Europe

Birthday:

1986-09-01

Position:

RW

Eligible for draft:

2004

Shoots:

Right

Drafted:

Height:

6-2

Acquired:

Trade with Dallas, 2008

Weight:

198 lbs.

Probability of Success
  • D

History

Tukonen drew attention to himself at a younger age than nearly any Finnish player, gaining a roster spot among men in the second tier league right before turning 15. He was ready to contribute, but injuries hampered his development in the small Ahmat organization. He moved to Blues, an elite league organization, in the middle of the 2002-03 season. The draft year was a time for breakout as he totally dominated the junior A league, played half a season in the professional league and became the youngest skater in recent history to play for Finland in the World Junior Championships.

2004-05: Despite the influx of NHL talent into Europe during the work stoppage, Tukonen managed to retain his spot on the roster and find a regular shift on the third and fourth lines. Continued his development in the SM-Liiga improving on both goal and point totals. Still extremely young, Tukonen will look to move up fast on the depth charts when the veterans return to the NHL.

2005-06: Tukonen spent the season anchoring the offense for Manchester of the AHL. Tukonen bore this weight admirably en route to 36 points in 62 games while battling nagging injuries most of the season. He eventually succumbed to the injuries, needing shoulder surgery towards the end of the season which removed him from the playoffs entirely. Skated for Team Finland at the WJC U20 tournament, where he placed second overall in scoring.

2006-07: Again getting off to a rough start while battling an on-going shoulder injury, Tukonen finished the season with 32 points in 61 games, nearly in line with the prior season’s totals.  Tukonen did, however, receive a four game call-up to Los Angeles where he was used sparingly and did not register on the score sheet.  His season again was cut short due to injuries after appearing in only 6 playoff games.

2007-08: Tukonen once again struggled with injuries in 2007-08, he has not completed more than 62 games in an AHL season in three tries.  He did register 26 assists and 35 points for Manchester and saw one NHL (his fifth career) contest this year.  However, the 11th overall selection has evidently not impressed Kings management and there were rumors of a conflict between Tukonen and some of the team’s coaching staff.  Tukonen was dealt to Dallas for prospect Richard Clune in July of 2008.

2008-09: Tukonen is hoping to benefit from a change of scenery, scenery that includes more of his own countrymen.  However, that doesn’t mean he’ll be playing with the Stars, instead he’ll be in Finland’s top league playing for Ilves Tampere.

Talent Analysis

Tukonen grew to his fairly large frame at a young age and has now refined his physique. He is nearly unstoppable in corners against junior competition and excels at covering the puck. The proud owner of a good pair of hands, his stickhandling is up for any task and his wrist shot is accurate. At times Tukonen suffers from tunnel vision mostly due to inexperience as he charges or dekes his way past opponents looking down and missing opportunities to pass the puck. His defensive game has evolved but can still be described as average. In the elite league where a youngster like him can only obtain a checking a role he has been eager to lay hits, but when dominating against juniors his physical play tends to lose that aspect as he focuses on the puck. Even though on occasion his deeds have hinted at a scoring touch most rare among Finnish players, the biggest question in Tukonen's case is whether his talent is great enough to score as much as he is expected to.

Future



Potential: 2nd line two-way, scoring forward, like an all-around better version of Rene Bourque.