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Following Injury, Reunanen Healthy and Enjoying Development Camp

by Matt Calamia @MattCalamia /

With injuries behind him, defenseman Tarmo Reunanen is back to 100 percent.

The 2016 fourth round selection suffered an injury during the 2015-16 season that limited him to just 11 games during his draft season, which allowed the Blueshirts to select him 98th overall. 

"It was a tough season [last year]," Reunanen told after the final day of prospect development camp. "Last summer I was not able to practice 100 percent. At the gym, I wasn't able to do squats with any weights. The confidence was not good at the start of the season."

But looking at the numbers from his last healthy season and there's reason to believe the Rangers could have come away with a steal in Reunanan.

The Finnish blueliner registered eight goals and 22 assists for 30 points in 42 games with TPS U20 of the Jr. A SM-liiga in 2014-15. As a comparable, Olli Juolevi - who went fifth overall to the Vancouver Canucks in 2016 - had six goals and 26 assists for 32 points in 44 games with Jokerit U20 of the season league.

Now, Reunanen said he's back to 100 percent, and when he is, he said his biggest strength is his offense.

"I think I have a good shot and I can play with the puck," he said. "Passing is my strength. When I'm healthy and fresh, I like to skate and skate with the puck a lot. The offensive zone is my biggest strength."

The 19-year-old said he enjoyed his first prospect camp, especially getting to know his fellow Rangers prospects. He added that he struggled a bit at the start of the week after adjusting to the seven-hour time difference between his home in Finland and New York. 

With the week in the books, Reunanen said the plan now is to return to Finland for training later in the summer. He'll be joined by some notable NHLers.

"There's some NHL players in that group like [Winnipeg's] Patrik Laine, [Buffalo's] Rasmus Ristolainen and [Colorado's] Mikko Rantanen," Reunanen said. "I'm going to train with them for three weeks. And then the season starts in Finland. My goal is to play in the top league in Finland for TPS."

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