Well rounded puck-moving defenceman with good hockey sense and decision-making. Could eventually grow into a 2nd or 3rd-pairing puck-moving defender with powerplay utility at the NHL level.
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July 2022 – Kulonummi projects as a second or third-pair defenseman who can contribute offensively while not being a liability in his own zone. In 40 games with the Jokerit U20 team, he scored three goals and 29 points. Going into next season, he is projected to see time in Liiga with Tappara. Curtis Rines
July 2022 – Kulonummi was drafted 84th overall by the Nashville Predators. Pat Quinn
January 2022 – Kulonummi had a good first half of the season with Jokerit in U20 SM-sarja, notching two goals and 16 assists in 25 games. He has also been the leading defender on Finland’s U18 national team, with a goal and 12 assists in 13 games. His current pace of .72 points per game would be the 13th highest mark among draft-eligible defencemen in U20 SM-sarja since 2000. For context, that is more than Carolina’s 2021 second-rounder Aleksi Heimosalmi and Blue Jackets 2020 third-rounder Samuel Knazko had during their respective draft years.
Kulonummi is an offensive-minded two-way defender. He is a smooth skater with great edge work and moves the puck well in all three zones. On breakouts, he gives precise passes but what I really like is how he uses his defensive partner as an outlet to calm the play if he doesn’t have a play to make. His puck retrievals are good and he can use pivots well to both escape pressure and make plays in a hurry. Kulonummi is more of a puck mover, but he has flashed some puck carrying skills in transition as well. On the offensive zone blue line, he has shown good deception and four-way mobility to make plays. He keeps his legs moving and has the ability to either keep the cycle going or deliver the puck to the net. He isn’t much of a shooter but gets shots through traffic, which is the most important thing. He is also an efficient powerplay quarterback as he is deceptive with the puck and can move it well. Kulonummi’s hockey sense is very good and he has the awareness to make the right decision more often than not. He maintains good positioning and anticipates many situations well. He also possesses a solid defensive game, controlling the gap pretty well and pressuring the puck carrier off the rush. His defensive zone game could be improved and he needs to gain a lot of strength, but it isn’t a huge detriment as he uses stick checks effectively. Kulonummi isn’t exactly a Cale Makar type of offensive dynamo, but he can drive the play with his great puck-moving and doesn’t really have any glaring weaknesses in his game. Along with physicality, Kulonummi also lacks high-end skating speed and explosiveness but if he continues to play well and develop his game, he could be a potential second or third round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft. Eetu Siltanen
|2017-2018||Jokerit U16||U16 SM-sarja||1||0||0||0||0||||
|2018-2019||Jokerit U16||U16 SM-sarja Q||27||6||18||24||4||||
|Jokerit U16||U16 SM-sarja||14||2||4||6||16|||||Playoffs||7||0||0||0||0|
|2019-2020||Jokerit U16||U16 SM-sarja Q||6||3||3||6||0||||
|Jokerit U16||U16 SM-sarja||1||0||0||0||0||||
|Jokerit U18||U18 SM-sarja||27||2||11||13||4||||
|Finland U16 (all)||International-Jr||11||1||8||9||2||||