John Russell

Fantasy Summary

Top-six scoring winger with a terrific release and a shoot first mentality. Elusive one-on-one puck skills combined with great outside speed.


Click to Expand

July 2020 – Tolvanen has been named to the Nashville roster when the NHL resumes in August.  Tolvanen cracked the 20 goal mark with Milwaukee this past season and is hoping to make his move upward into the Nashville lineup as a fixture moving forward.  While his progression has been slower than some have hoped, he finished fourth the AHL in shots with 191 in 2019-20.  Coupled with his development in a defensively responsible system, Tolvanen appears ready to take the next step in his career. Nicholas Kawka

February 2020 – Tolvanen continues to trend along the same pace as last season.  While some fantasy owners may be losing patience, Tolvanen is learning to play a more well grounded and edgy game among a gritty veteran group in Milwaukee.  He continues to shoot a ton and rests in the top 10 in the AHL in shots. With Milwaukee poised for a long playoff run, Tolvanen will surely learn the discipline and patience needed to take his game to the next level. Nicholas Kawka


October 2019 – Despite a strong training camp and goals in multiple pre-season games, Tolvanen was sent to Milwaukee to begin the season.  He has improved his game since last training camp, but clearly will need to continue building on his overall game before getting his big chance. He had an underwhelming rookie campaign in the AHL last season and will look to become more of an impact player.  Tolvanen remains high on the prospect ranks for Nashville, so they will be patient in his development. Look for Tolvanen to earn more NHL time throughout the season. – Nicholas Kawka


July 2019 – After being part of a gold medal-winning WJC team for Finland, Tolvanen continued to try and find consistency in his game for Milwaukee in the AHL.  In his first full professional season in North America, Tolvanen left much to be desired scoring 35pts in 58GP and went scoreless in a first round playoff loss. Expectations remain high for him in the Predators depth charts and look for Tolvanen to make a strong case to begin the season with the big club in the fall. – Nicholas Kawka


February 2019 – Tolvanen helped Finland to win gold at the 2019 World Junior Championship this past January. The 19-year-old forward finished with four assists in seven games. Tolvanen’s first professional season has been fairly underwhelming considering the hype that surrounded the prospect last season. Tolvanen’s ice time averages at about 13:30 per game so it’s likely that his production increases soon. Matt Somma

December 2018 – Tolvanen had an excellent season debut on December first, scoring his first NHL goal and adding his first NHL assist for his first NHL multi-point game. Tolvanen’s time in the AHL this season seems to be paying off as he looks much more confident with each passing shift. Matt Somma

October 2018 – Tolvanen has had a hot start to his first full professional campaign with six points in eight games for the Admirals. He has five assists and is being used on the power play, all while averaging just under 14 minutes of ice time per game. It shouldn’t be long before we see Tolvanen get another shot with the Predators. Matt Somma

October 2018 – Tolvanen will begin his first North American professional season with the Milwaukee Admirals. The Predators sent Tolvanen down to the AHL so that he can develop while receiving top six minutes. Tolvanen had a brief three game stint with the Predators during the 2017-2018 campaign where he failed to appear on the scoresheet. Matt Somma

March 2018 – What a couple months for Eeli Tolvanen. Tolvanen is on a historic rookie run in the KHL, putting up 18 goals and 35 points in 48 games for Jokerit. After netting six points in five World Junior Hockey Championship games, he potted three goals and nine points in five Olympic games, earning Olympic All-Star Team honors.

Tolvanen possesses a lethal shot, complete with pinpoint accuracy and a deadly release. He’s a dangerous threat on the power play; he is quick enough to get himself into positions to use his shot. The only knock on Tolvanen is his size and his skating. He can be knocked off the puck and he isn’t the fleetest of foot, but his intelligence and shot allow him to rack up points.

With rumors of Tolvanen joining the Predators once his KHL season ends, he is expected to make an impact sooner rather than later. Press got a first-round steal. Tyler Halsey

June 2017 – The Predators got themselves a steal with their first round 30th overall pick. I expected Tolvanen to go higher, given his goal scoring ability. A day before the NHL Draft the US Hockey Report tweeted out that Tolvanen has not been able to meet admissions standards of Boston College. Could this have impacted his draft stocks? In any case, the Predators were glad to have him this late in the draft. The young sniper’s options for the upcoming season are the Oshawa Generals in the CHL, who own his CHL rights or the Predators AHL affiliate Milwaukee Admirals, after the Predators sign him to his ELC, or playing in Europe.

His shot is world class, as you can see from the highlight video that’s linked in the bottom of this profile. He can get if off quickly and from a small space when needed, or he can wind up a slap shot if he is given the time. On the offence he is smart and creative with the puck. He can make room for himself with his soft hands.

Couple of areas in his game that require more work, are his skating ability and as for many of his age, bulking up. As a smaller player in the NHL you need to have those. Niko Salminen

February 2017 – Tolvanen is a sniper; his whole game revolves around supporting his arsenal of shots. He has a deceptive and quick release, shots from anywhere with pinpoint accuracy. Tolvanen can shoot in stride, with speed on a rush, or unleash and Ovechkin like one-timer off the half boards on the powerplay and bang in some dirty goals from the crease as well. He skates well and has good vision to read and react to the play well. He is undersized by traditional NHL standards but he is committed to play for Boston College in his post draft year where he can hit the gym to add some size and strength.  His fantasy upside is among the top of his draft class. Peter Harling

Fantasy Upside 8
NHL Certainty 9
Country FIN
Position LW
Roster Type NHL
Shoot/Glove Left
Date of Birth April 22, 1999
Height 5‘10”
Weight 181 lbs
Drafted 2017 Round 1; Overall: 30


 Season Team League GP G A TP PIM      Playoffs GP G A TP PIM 
 2012-2013 Kiekko-Espoo U16 ChU16 SM-sarja1 2 02 0|        
 2013-2014 Kiekko-Espoo U16 ChU16 SM-sarja1 1 12 0|        
  Blues U16U16 SM-sarja Q8 13 922 20|        
  Blues U16U16 SM-sarja28 43 3376 6|Playoffs10 5 510
  Kiekko-Espoo U18U18 SM-sarja10 2 46 0|Playoffs1 0 00
 2014-2015 Blues U16U16 SM-sarja0 0 00 0|Playoffs4 5 49
  Kiekko-Espoo U18U18 SM-sarja41 39 4584 24|Playoffs9 1 34 14 
  Kiekko-Espoo U20U20 SM-sarja7 2 35 2|        
  Finland U16 (all)International-Jr5 4 59 12|        
  Finland U17 (all)International-Jr7 2 13 2|        
 2015-2016 Sioux City MusketeersUSHL49 17 2138 12|        
  Finland U18Hlinka Gretzky Cup5 1 12 0|        
  Finland U17WHC-175 9 110 0|        
  Finland U18WJC-187 7 29 0|        
 2016-2017 Sioux City MusketeersUSHL52 30 2454 26|Playoffs13 5 510
  Finland U20WJC-206 2 46 2|        
  Finland U20 (all)International-Jr15 7 916 8|        
 2017-2018 JokeritKHL49 19 1736 28|Playoffs11 6 17
  Nashville PredatorsNHL3 0 00 0|        
  Finland U20WJC-205 1 56 4|        
  Finland U20 (all)International-Jr6 2 57 4|        
  Finland EHT3 2 13 0|        
  FinlandOG5 3 69 4|        
  FinlandWC4 2 24 2|        
  Finland (all)International13 7 916 8|        
 2018-2019 Nashville PredatorsNHL4 1 12 0|        
  Milwaukee AdmiralsAHL58 15 2035 24|Playoffs5 0 00
  Finland U20WJC-207 0 44 2|        
  Finland U20 (all)International-Jr8 1 45 2|        
 2019-2020 Milwaukee AdmiralsAHL63 21 1536 18|        
 2020-2021 Nashville PredatorsNHL- - -- -|        
  JokeritKHL4 0 22 0|