The Finnish surprise of the NHL season came completely out of the blue – Eetu Luostarinen, 24, gambles for himself a salary increase of millions of euros

The Finnish surprise of the NHL season came completely out

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Florida grabbed all kinds of players in a player trade from Carolina in February 2020. The main focus was on the center forward To Erik Haulawho had traveled in the other direction by Vincent Trocheck with the main actors of the player trade. Few paid much attention to what else was going on in Florida.

And it’s not necessarily a big miracle afterwards.

The Swedish Center Lucas Wallmark played nine games for Florida before returning to Europe a good year after the trade. Chase Priskiethe soon-to-be 27-year-old Florida’s own son hasn’t played a single game in the big lights to date.

Haula played eleven games in Florida before changing scenery again in the summer.

After all, one player is and will remain – and not many people could have guessed that at the time.

Eetu Luostarinen was part of the Trocheck store. Carolina’s second-round pick from the summer of 2017 had dipped his toes in the NHL that season after growing out of the SM League, but the middle lane of the hurricane pack was very crowded.

The now 24-year-old KalPa native is the biggest Finnish surprise of the NHL season, perhaps even the single most positive up-and-comer of the entire Florida team from the current season.

Luostarinen, who purposefully developed himself in silence, is a very reliable two-way center forward, a true player of the coach’s credit in all situations.

Now the question is: did anyone notice the breakthrough?

– Eetu Luostarinen doesn’t say anything to the general public, because things aren’t really written down. He’s not that kind of guy. We have already seen how tough a player ‘s hockey expert is Ismo Lehkonen start.

“The most reliable guy in the group”

In a couple of years, Luostarisen has grown into a really versatile and versatile player for Florida. The new-age panther team is buzzing with high-paid star individuals, but Luostarinen’s importance as a reliable depth player cannot be underestimated. Especially not now, when indiscipline has returned to be part of the team’s cardinal sins.

There’s no need to wait for the monastery to take off. It’s never been seen from him, but after all these years, the overall package is starting to be of a really hard level.

– Eetu has clearly been the most reliable guy in that group. I’ve noticed how reliable a player he is when it comes to playing defense. With the puck, he constantly makes the right choices. I’m really excited about playing Luostarinen, Lehkonen gets excited.

And Lehkonen doesn’t get excited about the reason.

There is a reason why Luostarinen played captain last time Alexander Barkov and by Anthony Duclair in the middle of the chain. There is also a reason why Luostarinen has played underpowered the most among Florida’s forwards. The head coach Paul Maurice has shown his trust in the Kuopio native throughout the season.

And Luostarinen has not disappointed. Power stat +20 is the team’s best quote. There have been 53 tackles (fourth most among forwards), 44 blocked shots (most) and 44 puck steals (second most). In advanced statistics, such as the ratio of goals to expected goals or goal positions, Luostarinen is the top end in Florida.

– We are talking about an incredibly reliable player who has become familiar with the fighting game and his self-image as a player has become clear. He has already understood what kind of player he wants to be, what kind of game he wants to play, and thereby strengthened himself continuously, Lehkonen opens.

– The coaches think that such guys are the most important players of the team, a kind of winning warriors who play a lot underpowered and make it possible to win even then. In that case, the power decreases a little, but the appreciation is strong.

Starts under control

The final breakthrough to the NHL level has come through power. 36 (16+20) power points in 67 matches is an excellent performance for a striker operating in the minutes of the triple chain. Tahti promises 20 goals and 44 points for a full season.

After the last day of January, Luostarinen is second in the points market of his team, which partly speaks for the team’s current state.

– I already saw in the SM league back in the day where such a guy came from. The man doesn’t have a shower of stars, but he plays reliably, skates well and makes the right choices. He wasn’t a point-scorer in Finland, but now even that side has started to get better.

Luostarinen’s development and game has been going in the right direction for a long time. In the current season, several injuries have opened the door to a bigger screen and the young Finnish player has taken full advantage of this.

If there was one major weakness to be found in the central forward’s game, it would be kick-offs. Luostarinen is a quality two-way center in all respects, but the starting efficiency of only 41% is too low if he intends to grow and increase his responsibility.

There would be a demand for competence, because of the team’s centers, only Barkov starts with more than 50 percent power.

– You have to take over the initiatives. It’s an area that the coaches really appreciate and that’s how you get extra minutes. I have no doubts that Eetu would have the eye for the game to take over this as well. In Finland, we always give an equalization here, when we don’t invest in the start, as the North Americans do, Lehkonen states.

Price-quality ratio through the roof

The most amusing thing about Luostarinen’s glory is the contract he operates with. After his rookie contract expired, Luostarinen signed with the Panthers-GM last summer Bill Ziton with a two-year extension worth three million dollars. One and a half million bucks is a ridiculous sum for Luostarinen’s current level of performance, but at the same time, everything you do is money in the bank.

Completely different numbers will be recorded in the next contract.

– Florida is in trouble because there is a demand for this kind of guy and the numbers will be completely different. Let’s talk lightly about more than four million cents for the next deal. A guy of that age (24) and size, with no strange injury history. A great opportunity for a club to commit to this guy, Lehkonen’s line.

– I’m really excited about this boy, Lehkonen repeats what he said earlier, laughing.

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