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Photo Credit: courtesy Calgary Flames/NHL Media

Eetu Tuulola has been called back to Finland

Calgary Flames prospect Eetu Tuulola will be tackling a new challenge next season as he’s left the Western Hockey League’s Everett Silvertips and returned to his Finnish club team, HPK.

Everett Herald reporter Jesse Geleynse broke the news earlier today.

Here’s what happened:

Tuulola signed a three-year contract with HPK in 2015, with the deal running through 2015-16 until 2017-18. He was loaned to HPK’s junior club for 2015-16 and then loaned to Everett for 2016-17 after Tuulola’s selection in the CHL Import Draft. He has one year left on his deal.

The Flames drafted Tuulola in the 2016 NHL Draft and because he was drafted from a European club they retain his rights for four years. My understanding is this has not changed, even with his sojourn to (and from) North America.

That said, because the Flames didn’t sign Tuulola to a contract by June 15 HPK still has an active contract with him – for the Flames to sign Tuulola they would’ve had to negotiate a termination of that deal – and because that contract still exists, HPK has the ability to call him back from his North American loan. They did so.

As of right now: Tuulola will play 2017-18 for HPK, but the Flames retain his NHL rights.

    • MarbledBlueCheese

      Whoops, actually read the article with both eyes and after a cup of coffee. Apologies.
      No doubt he’ll be signed and scoring 50 goal seasons by next year.

  • freethe flames

    I hope we see him at development camp, it would be good to compare his development to Foo. I suspect that ET is probably a little disappointed about the whole thing. Good luck to him.

  • Garry T

    Drove 3 hours into Calgary to take in development camp for drafted players last year. This is a big kid, aggressive, and skilled. You could not take your eyes off him for a second in cross ice drills. If he did not have the puck he was pushing hard to obtain it. He can skate, has a great shot and is a difference maker in terms of play. You can tell he has that will to win.

    I am worried about the relationship between player and team in a case like this. Hope the team spoke with him about returning home and perhaps both agreed this was best for his development. Definitely want to keep Tuulola in the fold.

    • piscera.infada

      I’m not sure how you can infer anything untoward here. As the article clearly states:

      for the Flames to sign Tuulola they would’ve had to negotiate a termination of that deal

      It seems as though it would behove the Flames to have legitimate North American pro aspirations for him this season to have reason to willingly negotiate the termination of his contract in Liiga. As much as I like the player, I’m not sure he’s quite “there” yet in terms of an AHL roster spot. The Flames likely don’t see much of a downside to him playing as a European pro versus a North American junior.

      • C Watson

        You are correct. There is no ulterior motive or anything shady going on here. He will play out his contract, Flames will sign him, and he will compete for a roster spot.
        This kid checks off all the boxes – right shot power forward, NHL size, plays a little on the edge and a nose for the
        net with great hands. All this and he does it with a smile on his face, great attitude.

        • everton fc

          Let’s not forget he was a 6th round pick. He’s was a long-shot the day he was drafted, just like Ruzicka, Fischer and Joly, this season. If he even makes the AHL, it’s a victory for the player. If he makes the NHL as a bottom 9 forward – almost miraculous. Then again, Phillips was a 6th round pick! 😉

          Playing in Europe against men is probably a good thing. He will certainly get a lot of work on the skill-part of his game. Can’t hurt.