Samu Tuomaala is a skilled, goal-scoring winger who loves to shoot. The young Finn has been a hot topic around the scouting world as he presents an intriguing offensive skill set that combines flash and finish. He has one of the better wrist shots in the draft with the ability to change the game with just a flick of the wrist from all over the attacking zone. A volume shooter, Tuomaala is playing at his best when he is utilizing his teammates to keep the opposition honest and exploiting shooting space he finds himself in when he gets the chance. Our very own Eetu Siltanen had a chance to speak with Kärpät U20’s winger Samu Tuomaala. Tuomaala scored 31 points in 30 games with Kärpät’s U20 team and also had a chance to play 5 games with Kärpät’s Liiga team. Now Kärpät U20 are starting the finals and they seem to be poised to take home the gold.
Eetu: How’s going and how has your season been? Has it gone as you expected?
Samu Tuomaala: I’m doing fine. I’ve been training a lot, both with the team and also done some extra by myself. And now the playoffs are upcoming in U20 SM-sarja, so I’m really waiting for it. The season has been pretty good, I’ve had development in different areas. I’ve had more strength and my defensive and the comprehensive game have also got better. I think I also could’ve been a bit better but I’m pretty satisfied and obviously happy about how well our team has been playing.
Eetu: Do you ever watch any public rankings or anything and do you have any idea where you could be drafted?
Samu Tuomaala: I’ve seen some, including yours (Dobber Prospects) in my Twitter timeline but I don’t follow them per se.
Eetu: What do you like to do on your free time?
Samu Tuomaala: I like to spend time with my girlfriend and obviously spend a lot of time in training and games. I’ve also been using the time to develop myself as a hockey player.
Eetu: Let’s move on to the hockey questions. What do you think are your strengths as a hockey player?
Samu Tuomaala: My strengths are in the offensive game. The biggest ones definitely are my shot and my skating. I also try to create scoring chances for my teammates and myself.
Eetu: What about things you need to develop more?
Samu Tuomaala: I need to improve my defensive and comprehensive game more but I’m working to get it better all the time. I try to learn these things every day with my coach and I also watch my games and analyze them afterwards.
Eetu: Do you have a role model or a favorite player?
Samu Tuomaala: When I was a kid, my idol was Teemu Selänne. But nowadays, I try to watch and learn from right-handed NHL stars like Marner, MacKinnon, Panarin and Pastrnak.
Eetu: What does NHL really mean to you and how do you feel about maybe playing there someday?
Samu Tuomaala: It has always been a dream for me and now that I’ve realized that it could be possible someday, it’s definitely a goal I want to achieve.
Eetu: Where do you see yourself in about 5 to 7 years?
Samu Tuomaala: After five years I see myself playing in the NHL regularly, getting better and better all the time. At the seven-year mark, I’d already be a player in NHL team’s top-6.
Eetu: With U18’s coming up, what feelings do you have going in there?
Samu Tuomaala: I’ve been waiting them a lot, especially as they were cancelled last year. I obviously want to play well individually but most importantly, help our team win and bring the gold medal home.
Thanks to Samu for the interview. We’re probably going to do another one with him after the season and speak about the draft and the U18’s.
Follow me on Twitter @siltaneneetu.