New York Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton announced today that the team has agreed to terms with defenseman Tarmo Reunanen on an entry-level contract.
Reunanen, 21 (turned 21 years old on March 1), skated in 58 games with Lukko in Liiga this past season, registering six goals and 19 assists for 25 points, along with 40 penalty minutes. He established Liiga career-highs in several categories in 2018-19, including games played, goals, assists, and points. Reunanen led Liiga defensemen in their U21 season or younger in goals and points, and he also ranked second among Liiga defensemen in their U21 season or younger in assists in 2018-19. Reunanen is one of five Liiga defensemen who have recorded at least 25 points during the regular season in either their U21 season or younger since 2009-10 (along with Sami Vatanen, Esa Lindell, Ville Pokka, and Sami Niku). In addition, he ranked 12th among all players in Liiga - and ranked second among players in their U21 season or younger - in average ice time in 2018-19 (21:14). Reunanen logged at least 24:00 of ice time in 19 of his final 31 regular season games, including 12 consecutive games from Dec. 11 to Jan. 17.
The 6-0, 178-pounder also skated in six playoff games with Lukko during the past season, registering one goal and four assists for five points, along with a plus-one rating and two penalty minutes. Reunanen registered 30 points overall (25 in the regular season, five in the playoffs) in 2018-19; over the last five seasons (since 2014-15), he is one of four Liiga defensemen in their U21 season or younger who have tallied 30 points overall in one season (along with Miro Heiskanen, Esa Lindell, and Sami Niku). He tied for sixth among Liiga defensemen in assists and ranked eighth among Liiga defensemen in points in the playoffs this past season. In addition, Reunanen averaged 22:25 of ice time per game in the playoffs, which ranked 11th in Liiga, and he also recorded 38 shot attempts in the playoffs (6.33 shot attempts per game).
Reunanen has skated in 93 career games in Liiga over parts of three seasons (2016-17 - 2018-19) with TPS and Lukko, registering six goals and 23 assists for 29 points, along with 40 penalty minutes. He also played in nine games with TPS in the Champions Hockey League in 2016-17 and 2017-18. Reunanen tallied 49 points (13 goals, 36 assists) and posted a plus-28 rating in 68 career games in Nuorten SM-liiga (Finnish junior league), and he helped TPS' junior team win the league championship in Nuorten SM-liiga in 2014-15.
Internationally, the Aanekoski, Finland native has represented his country in several tournaments. Reunanen represented Finland at the 2015 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament and the 2014 World U17 Hockey Challenge, and he also helped Finland earn a bronze medal at the 2015 Winter European Youth Olympic Festival, as he registered five assists and a plus-seven rating in three games in the tournament. In addition, Reunanen skated in four games with Finland's National Team during the 2019 Euro Hockey Challenge. He was one of five players in their U21 season or younger who played at least one game with Finland's National Team in international competition in 2018-19.
Reunanen was selected by the Rangers in the fourth round, 98th overall, of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.