Report: Blackhawks Sign Defenseman Joni Tuulola

Scott Powers of The Athletic is reporting that the Blackhawks have signed defenseman Joni Tuulola to a two-year, entry-level contract.

Tuulola, 22, is listed at 6-3 and 181 pounds and a left-handed shot. He was a sixth round selection (#181 overall) by Chicago in the 2015 NHL Draft. Tuulola posted seven goals and 23 assists in 58 games with Sport Vaasa in the SM-Liiga during the the 2017-18 season.

19 thoughts on “Report: Blackhawks Sign Defenseman Joni Tuulola

  1. I have been really high on this kid… ( even though 6th rd. pick… ) after watching him during WJC a few years ago… seems like a tougher/smoother/ TvR (good positioning/IQ)…

    little “vanilla” like Hammer… but seemed to always be on the right side of things

  2. I am excited about Tuulola. He was on the Finnish World Juniors team that surprisingly won the gold.

    I think he has a chance to develop into a smart, steady defensive defenseman with decent passing skills and mobility. Not a bone crusher, but can be very effective on the back end, an area where we desperately need more options.

    Keep an eye on this kid.

  3. He is not overly physical… But like a Nordstrom… will hit you hard… and dump you – if your head is down… or if you are skating off balance

  4. I’m with you on this one Mike. I watched him in WJC. He seemed steady if unspectacular. Right now DK is our only NHL caliber left-handed shot defenseman. Positions available.

  5. Looking forward to see what he can do. Wonder if he has European clause or still signed to European team, or be able to go Rockford if needs too.

  6. Looks like he is under contract for next season to his Finnish team so be under league transfer agreement where that team gets first option if reassigned, until after dec. 1st likely. Sounds like he may go to Rockford right away and burn a year to get used to small ice so maybe looking at him to be on roster to start next year.

  7. Hanging hopes on to a late 6,7 round pick dman or a 6’6’slow skating centre from Sweden, to make this team tells us all we need to know about our scouting staff. We need 1st and 2nd rounders (maybe 3rd rounders) to make this team elite. We have not seen that on defence since the Hammer, in goal since the Crow, at right wing since Kaner, left wing since SAAD (1st version) and centre since Teows (kudos to Schmaltz who will be a solid 2nd line centre)

  8. Hey Mikita21 how about Datsyuk, Zetterberg, Luc Robitaille, Brett Hull, Doug Gilmour and Theron Fluery as a few 6th round or later picks that aren’t worth the effort. As for Ejdsell he wasn’t sonebody nobody wanted as you portray, a number of teams pursued him last year the Blackhawks among them. So somebody saw a little something in him.

  9. Let’s not go back 15 -20-25 years. And those players you mentioned actually dominated their leagues when they played. Hull and Robitaille were told 30 years ago they were too slow. Fleury too small. The Russians are not all coming to the NHL. And how many scouts were actually working for teams in those days??? 1 or 2 at most?
    All those guys you mentioned scored tons of goals in their junior leagues.
    Mr. Bowman signs Baun out of Cornell after scoring 13 goals one season as a 22 year old? Tyler Motte scores 20 goals as a 22 year old college player? Should we go through the free agent NCAA list of players BOWMAN has signed? or the CZECH, KHL free agents? Let’s call a spade a spade Ian. I appreciate your honesty. But Rutta? Osterle? Kempny? Highmore? Hayden? Murphy?

    Troy Brouwer finished with over 100 points in the Western league. Had a great shot and size but told he was too slow. Yet he dominated his league, a real league not NCAA. Tallon drafted him and the rest is history. Now, you must be praying that 165 pounder Sikura moves mountains in Chicago if he signs? Another 5-6 round pick that we hope makes a splash. You cannot replace Hossa and Sharp at their prime by Sikura and Hinostroza? Those guys scored 35-40-45 goals?
    The problem are not Dale Tallon’s drafted players that remain, the problem is Stan Bowman and his amateur/pro scouts and now Coach Q who has no idea what to do with his line combination.
    Many have wondered why our GM has stayed away from the CHL, the best junior league in hockey? I guess to draft our Chicago born players to fill the United Centre with family members?

    Tonight, another goalie drafted in the 2nd round in 2016 was introduced (bypassed by Stan the man) by the Ottawa Senators. Gustafson, voted best goalie of the WJC this year. (Originally drafted by the Pens who over the years have drafted FLEURY, MURRAY, JARRY, GUSTAFSON). Along with Carter Hart, Canadian golaie at the WJC, who went to the Flyers in the 2nd round as well!!!

    That’s the truth…scary.

  10. That was my point you never know who is going to be that gem. If Bowman didn’t do his dilligence and one of these were to become free agents and signed and have a good run in the NHL we would hear about it daily. So why trash it when he does. I agree it is puzzling why he doesn’t look more to the CHL when it is still clearly the number 1 feeder league. Having a big scouting presences in the NCAA and Europe are certainly a big part if todays game but basically not maintaining a solid pipeline to CHL seems remiss.

  11. Ian I agree would like to see more prospects from the CHL College picks are great but you have to always sweat them going to free agency if they perform well. I’m fine with SB signing as many free agents as possible if they work great if not you don’t loose anything but money.

  12. Hopefully, this kid can play, I’ve heard good things as well. Sometimes scouts can just miss on guys completely. Buff was a late round pick who has had a pretty solid career.

    I’ve been against SB recently philosophy of drafting heavy from College. I think there is some value to college guys and some have gone on to Hall of Fame careers. However, I think there is a limited upside to players that have come from the US college ranks. You can almost say that about 1 high-end prospect comes from the college rank a generation. For every Jack Eichel(still questionable how good he will be) and Paul Kariya there are a lot of Kyle Baun, Jimmy Vesey and Drew LeBlanc. It still is fair to say the best players skip College altogether.

    Jeremy Roenick, Boston College

    After being selected 8th overall in the 1988 NHL Draft, Roenick infamously spent four days enrolled at Boston College, never playing in an actual game, before choosing to sign with Hull of the QMJHL. In Roenick’s own words:

    “My college education consisted of going into one class at Boston College and hearing a professor talk about a “syllabus”. I didn’t know what a syllabus was, and I made up my mind then and there that it was time to sign my first professional hockey contract.” Check out the full list below.

    https://www.sbncollegehockey.com/2017/8/15/15780248/best-college-hockey-decommits-lindros-kane-benn-fowler-gibson-gagner-roenick

  13. I’ll just post the opposite end of the spectrum as ESPN posted an all-time ranking of hockey lineups to promote their televising the Frozen Four starting this afternoon. Yes, there are some negatives to drafting college players, but there has been a distinct rise in the drafting of college players recently (and in the quality of players going to play US college hockey). There is an interesting case that is made that college hockey stresses practice over games and that some GMs prefer that over the game heavy schedules of the CHL. Personally, I think taking the best players available works best.

    http://www.espn.com/college-sports/story/_/id/22846082/ranking-ultimate-lineups-ncaa-men-hockey-history

  14. Agree totally on drafting the best player available, but thats what is puzzling, they seem to err on the side of NCAA or Europe and not get the better player fron the CHL on alot if occasions. I realize its a crap shoot in the later rounds but a lack of CHL players in the system suggests a the scouting in the NHL s main feeder league may need to be addressed.

  15. Wally makes sense because Tuulola can’t play in playoffs anyways, so his elc if thry sign him to one would start next season instead of this year.

  16. re: Wally – if the IceHogs sign him to a PTO it just means he can finish the regular season there & it doesn’t burn any of the reported ELC he’s signing w/ the Blackhawks.

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