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By The Numbers Prospects - Antti Tuomisto

Gangly defenseman must gain strength and work on his defensive game

by Arthur J. Regner @ArthurJRegner /

By the Numbers will highlight the on-ice accomplishments in the 2018-19 season for the Detroit Red Wings' prospects. Twice a week during the offseason, By the Numbers will profile a different player in the system, focusing on his statistical highs. This week we focus on defenseman Antti Tuomisto.

If you were to examine the Red Wings' last four drafts, you would discover they've drafted the same number of forwards and defensemen.

Detroit had seven picks in 2016, 11 in 2017, 10 in 2018 and another 11 in this year's draft held in Vancouver this past June.

Out of their 39 total picks, 17 were forwards, 17 were defensemen and five were goaltenders.

But upon further examination of the 2019 draft, it's apparent the Wings put a premium on defensemen.

The Wings had four picks in the top 60 (one in the first round and three in the second round) and chose three defensemen - Moritz Seider, sixth overall, Antti Tuomisto, 35th overall, and Albert Johansson, 60th overall.

Left wing Robert Mastrosimone, 54th overall, was the lone forward taken by Detroit in their top four selections, which is understandable considering the Wings blueline is becoming a bit long in the tooth.

With their top two picks, the Wings took right-handed shooting defensemen Seider and Tuomisto. Seider stands 6-foot-4 and weighs 207 pounds and Tuomisto is also 6-foot-4 and weighs 194 pounds.

Except for a slight weight difference, the towering pair could be fraternal twins.

Tuomisto is a heady player who has an edge to his game. He skates well for a big man and has a good offensive skill set. He also likes to hit and possesses an accurate and powerful shot.

He still needs to refine his game on the back end, but with Tuomisto's long reach and intelligence, his defensive game should come together as he gains experience.

Last season he played well enough for Assat U20 in Finland's top junior league to earn a promotion to Assat's team in Finland's Liiga, which is the country's top league.

However, Tuomisto opted not to join Assat's big club because he wanted to keep his NCAA eligibility intact. He intends to play college hockey in 2020-21.

If he has another impressive season for Assat U20 this year and puts together a couple of solid seasons in college, Tuomisto could make an impact on the Wings blueline for many seasons to come.

45 - Total number of games he played in Jr. A SM-liiga for Assat U20.

9 - His nine goals were tops by a defenseman on his team.

26 - Tuomisto's 26 assists led Assat U20.

35 - Among defensemen, his 35 total points were third highest for a blueliner in Jr. A SM-liiga. Tuomisto's point total placed him in a three-way tie for the most points on Assat U20. Detroit draft pick Otto Kivenmaki (11-24-35) and Juha Rautiainen (11-24-35) also racked up 35 points. Based on his performance, Tuomisto was named to Jr. A SM-liiga's Second All-Star Team.

49 - He was assessed 49 penalty minutes, which was tied for third highest on the team. Fellow defenseman Matias Keskimaki was Assat's U20 penalty leader with 88.

-4 - On a team which finished out of the playoffs, Tuomisto's minus-4 was actually not too bad. Out of the 33 players that played for Assat U20 last season, 11 had a higher minus number than Tuomisto.

2 - The Red Wings selected Tuomisto in the second round, 35th overall, in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft. He becomes the second player to be drafted 35th overall by the Wings. In the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, Detroit chose right wing Tomas Jurco in the second round, also 35th overall.

Quotable: "We think he's a good prospect. He's a big kid, good shot, smart player, moves well for a big guy and plays hard. He's young. If he fills out and gets stronger will make him more powerful. We like the way he thinks the game, we like his tools, like his size. Somewhat like Seider. They're different players, but big right-shot D that moves pretty well, can pass the puck and defend reasonably well." - Steve Yzerman, Red Wings general manager

Quotable II: "At camp, obviously he's a kid, he's got good size. It's weird. He was one of those kids that looked better in the scrimmage than he did in practice. That can be attributed to a lot of things. That's why I don't like to make that many comments on the young players because it's his first pro camp. It's a really busy time of year for them and it's hard for them to come in and feel comfortable. So we tell them all this and the fact that it's not really as much about evaluation as it is the learning process at development camp. It's not fair for these kids. First off, it's the end of June, a lot of them are coming right from the draft, they're getting thrown everywhere. It's early in the season in terms of training, they're not in the conditioning that they will be come September.

"For us, we want to show them every little aspect that it's going to take for them to make the NHL, not just make it but play and have a long, successful career. We don't run a lot of evaluation and really put too much emphasis on evaluation at development camp. That's the truth, that stands true for us. Because realistically, evaluation will come during the year, whatever leagues they play in against their peers. He's a kid that physically has a long ways to go maturity-wise and that's normal for recently drafted players." - Shawn Horcoff, Red Wings director of player development

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