Flyers Prospect Breakdown: Samu Tuomala, LVP, AHL

The Player

The Flyers have tried to address goal scoring for the past few drafts and have drafted some snipers with the likes of Tyson Foerster, Cutter Gauthier, Matvei Michkov, and one could add Samu Tuomaala to that list, as well.

With the 46th pick at the NHL Draft in 2021 Chuck Fletcher and the Flyers top brass selected Samu Tuomaala. Tuomaala hails from Oulu, Finland, and he played for Kärpät in the Liiga league where he torched his opponents for 15 goals and 16 assists for 31 points in 30 games played in 2020-21.

Tuomaala then played a handful of games for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms the following season, before being shipped to Europe to further develop and hone his skills with less pressure. He struggled the next few seasons in Europe, but Sami Kapanen never gave up hope on him, as he was mentoring him.

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Strengths

Tuomaala possesses the skill and puck-handling ability to be a valuable transition player with the ability to distribute the puck when he wants to. He will need to diversify his attack to reach his full potential, but he has all the tools to do it.

Tuomaala is a plus skating, shot first, winger that the Flyers desperately need on their NHL squad. Adding Tuomaala with players like Tyson Foerster and Bobby Brink, the Flyers now have great depth in shot-first wingers in their prospect pipeline. Shooting is Tuomaala’s number one asset, but he also has a great skill to make space for himself with the puck.

 Tuomaala has above-average hockey IQ and while he might not be a top-line scorer at the NHL level, he can be a middle-six winger who plays on the top power-play unit and can score 20 goals in a season. He will need to add about 10 pounds of muscle over the next couple of years to reach his full potential. This is a perfect upside pick for the Flyers given that they traded their first-round pick away for Rasmus Ristolainen.

Weaknesses

His defensive game is not a strength, but it is also not a weakness. Bulking up and being more aware of his defensive zone are two things that he needs to work on before fulfilling a larger role for the Flyers, though that is not uncommon for many 18-year-old players. 

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Projection

So, it’s unlikely for Tuomaala to come up to the Flyers this season, even if they are selling at the trade deadline. He was rushed to a high-end league once, so why do that again? Admittedly, he might be a valuable middle-six contributor for the Flyers as soon as today if he were given the chance to produce in the lineup. But he’s been so good in the AHL, that there’s no reason to disrupt that. He’ll get his chance to make the team in 2024-25

Matt Bednarczyk
Matt Bednarczyk

Matt Bednarczyk is your host of Talking Philly Sports With Matty B. He is a proud retired US Army Sergeant First Class, he is also a combat veteran with over 80 months served in Afganistan, and Iraq . Huge Hockey Fan. Matt is a lifelong 4 for 4 Philly sports fan. Born and raised on the Mayfair and Tacony neighborhood lines of Northeast Philly. He brings over 40 years of Philadelphia Sports passion and provides a realistic look at our Major Sports Teams and the most passionate sports fans on the planet. Look for his show live on Edge of Philly Sports.

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