Photo Credit: Photo courtesy the Stockton Heat/Christian Bonin

Flames prospect Eetu Tuulola signs with Finland’s Ilves for 2022-23

The Calgary Flames are losing another player to Europe for next season. Right wing Eetu Tuulola, a pending restricted free agent, has signed with Ilves of Finland’s Liiga for the 2022-23 season.

Tuulola, 24, was the Flames’ sixth round pick back in the 2016 NHL Draft.

He joined the Stockton Heat starting in the 2019-20 season and established himself as a reliable, if somewhat inconsistent, complimentary forward. He had seasons of 23 points (in 50 games; 0.46 per game), 7 points (in 29 games; 0.24 per game) and 25 points (in 61 games; 0.41 per game), but it was unclear if he was going to be able to creep up higher in Stockton’s rotation given his uneven progression. So after a few seasons in North America, Tuulola is getting back closer to home in Finland.

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The Flames have the option of sending him a qualifying offer to retain his North American rights.

Tuulola is the fourth Stockton player to agree to a deal in Europe for 2022-23. Backup goalie Adam Werner signed with Malmo, and blueliners Greg Moro and Johannes Kinnvall landed with SaiPa and Brynas, respectively.