Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2019 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we look at Finnish defenceman Antti Tuomisto.
Playing in the Assat Pori development system, Antti Tuomisto continues to develop. As a 17-year-old, he had a strong offensive season in the Finnish Under-20 league with nine goals and 35 points in 45 games. It was enough to see Tuomisto named to the League’s second all-star team. Tuomisto also added one goal in two Under-18 regular season games as well as a goal and an assist in five playoff games. His numbers showed a real step up in his offensive game as he put up just three points in 18 games in the Under-20 league the previous season.
Tuomisto has seen time with the Finnish national team. He played in this season’s IIHF Under-18 World Championships, putting up two assists in the five-game tournament. Overall he played 19 games with the Under-18 team this season, putting up 15 assists. It was quite the offensive improvement over last season. With the Under-17 team, he was held scoreless in 18 games, including five games at the Under-17 World Hockey Challenge.
Antti Tuomisto Scouting Report
Defence — shoots Right
Born January 20th, 2001 — Pori, Finland
Height 6’4.5” — Weight 193 lbs [194 cm / 88 kg]
Blessed with excellent size (6’4.5″ at the NHL Draft Combine), Tuomisto is also a good skater given that height. He has a powerful stride that generates decent speed in both directions. He also reaches that top speed quickly with very good acceleration. It also helps him to be strong on the puck. Tuomisto has very good balance and it is tough to knock him off the puck. However, when fighting for loose pucks he could stand to use his body and his leverage better in order two win those battles. He could also increase his upper body strength. Tuomisto also has decent footwork, allowing him to have good lateral mobility and to keep attackers in front of him.
Tuomisto is a good puck-moving defenceman. He is able to retrieve pucks quickly and to avoid forecheckers and skate them out of danger. Tuomisto is also able to skate the puck up the ice through the neutral zone. However, he likes to make a pass as soon as one is available. He hits open forwards with quick and simple passes starting the transition game. Tuomisto is not afraid to join the rush as a trailer, letting off an effective wrist shot and a quick release. He also uses his vision and passing skills to quarterback the play from the point. His puckhandling and poise allow him to have the patience to find the open man and set up a scoring chance.
Tuomisto also has a very good slapshot from the point. He uses his lateral agility to open up passing and shooting lanes. He understands that by keeping the puck low, he generates opportunities for his teammates to get tip-ins and to pounce on rebounds.
Tuomisto has a good defensive game, but with some polishing could become great. He is willing to battle in the corners and in front of the net. He is a bit skinny in his upper body and has room to add muscle to his frame. This would make Tuomisto even more effective in the dirty areas of the ice. He also uses his skating to maintain good gap control and keep opponents to the outside. He looks for a big hit if a forward challenges him wide but needs to maintain his discipline, avoiding getting out of position. Tuomisto uses his big frame and active stick to block shots and cut down passing lanes. Once a turnover is created, he can quickly transition the puck up the ice to create offence.
Projection and Comparison
Tuomisto could become a top-four defender in the NHL capable of playing in all situations. His combination of size, skating and offensive skill is very intriguing. His positioning and use of leverage must improve for him to be effective in his own end of the ice. Tuomisto will also need to add more upper-body strength. He could stay in Finland with Assat Pori next season. With the strength of Finland’s development program right now, that might be his best bet going forward. In terms of style, his game is reminiscent of Rasmus Ristolainen. However, this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Antti Tuomisto that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for the next prospect on our draft board.
Main Photo via Youtube.