- DOB: April 22, 1999 - Nummela, Finland
- Team: Sioux City Musketeers (USHL)
- Right Wing | Shoots: L | 5’11”, 190 pounds
- 2016-17 Stats: 52 GP - 30G, 24A, 54 Points, 26 PIM
The Finnish winger had a good year for Sioux City of the USHL, finishing eighth in league scoring with 54 points, third in goals with 30 and first in even strength goals with 24. He was a member of Finland’s disastrous World Junior campaign, but was not one of their most glaring problems as he led their scorers with six points in six games.
Despite being selected in the CHL Import Draft in 2016, Tolvanen chose to take the USHL route to keep his NCAA eligibility intact. He will play his college hockey at Boston College in the fall, stepping in as one of the Eagles most important players as a freshman. The winger is the definition of a volume shooter, eclipsing all USHL shooters in shots (246) and shots-per-game (4.7). His staggering league-leading shot number was 39 more than any other USHL player.
When watching Tolvanen, it’s not hard to see the elite skill that he possesses. That skill is shooting the puck, and in turn burying it the back of the net. He is terrific at creating angles to not only release his wicked shot quickly, but also avoid defensemen who are looking to get in front of it. However, there are times when Tolvanen looks to shoot too much, a tendency which will have to be curtailed as he continues to develop.
Skating isn’t his greatest asset, but it is adequate. He competes to create scoring opportunities, but at times lacks consistency in other areas of his game. It will be interesting to see once he gets to the college hockey level if he will be able to refine his style of play in a closer checking environment. From a projection standpoint, Tolvanen likely projects as a scoring line winger who can improve team scoring both at 5-on-5 and with the man advantage.
Although he has slid down some draft boards, Tolvanen should still be one of the first wingers selected in round one. His range appears to be pretty wide, as he could be off the board as high as 6-10 or as low as 20-25. It’s not too often that teams pass on elite scoring forwards, so somewhere in the teens is a decent bet.
Carolina selected a high-level scoring winger a year ago in Julien Gauthier with their second, first round pick, but still have a need at the position. Whether or not the Canes value adding another winger who can put the puck in the net over one of the draft’s second-tier of centers will remain to be seen.