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Rask(ing) about Tuukka

by Staff Writer / Boston Bruins

Remember this name: Tuukka Rask (that’s him on the right).

Boston Bruins goaltending coach Bob Essensa has just returned from Finland where he was observing the B’s netminding prospect.

"I was really impressed with him, to be honest with you," said "Goalie Bob" while watching the Colorado Avalanche practice today, prior to the Bruins optional skate. "I really liked a lot of things that he does.

"Some of the things that he needs to improve on (have to do with the) North American style.

"Just in terms of edge work, getting from point A to point B, and his mindset, I was really impressed with the kid," he said.

As he plays in Finland, for Ilves, statistical information in English is sometimes hard to come by, but the nice people at Wikipedia write:

He is 6’ 2" and weighs 183 lbs. He played in 26 games for Ilves jr. in the Finnish Junior League. His GAA was 1.86 with 2 shutouts and a .935 save percentage. He was the top ranked European goaltender in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.

Tuukka Rask currently plays as the number one goaltender for Ilves in the Finnish SM-Liiga. As of March 1st, 2007, he sports a saving percentage of 92.94 (second in the league, among primary goalies), a goals against average of 2.30(fourth in the league), while facing 1356 shots(2nd most in the league).

"His footwork is probably as good as I’ve seen," continued Essensa. "He…reminds me a little of (Miikka) Kiprusoff, the way he carries his hands.

"(But) he’s pretty unique -- you’ll see when he comes over next fall."

So, Rask seems to figure prominently in the Bruins future.

"He’s going to be a player. You only have to watch him for five or ten minutes to see that."

More later…
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