Montreal – – Eeli Tolvanen had a coming out party last year in the U18’s. In North Dakota he managed to get seven goals and nine points in seven games. His team eventually won gold and there was a lot of talk about where he might place in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
Now that we’re getting closer, I think he’ll be a Top 10 pick. Still 17, he has four points in his first five games in the U20 World Junior Championships. The speed is there. The body looks a bit stronger, sturdier. At 5-10, 172 pounds he’ll have a pro body in no time. He currently plays for the Sioux City Musketeers in the USHL and he’s on pace for a 30-goal season. He had a nice assist on the first and most important goal in a big win over Latvia. They’re in the midst of a best-of-3 series.
“I don’t really remember the goal. We won the battle. I don’t know what happened. It went in luckily,” said Tolvanen. “We just couldn’t score. We had over 50 shots.”
Next year he’ll be playing for Boston College. He has Hobey Baker talent so it will be interesting to see what year he becomes a finalist. I know that’s looking ahead but he has that kind of talent and on and off the ice maturity as well. He is a part of a team who is playing in the relegation round against, Latvia, after his country won gold last year. They changed coaches in the middle of the tournament as well. That was unprecedented.
“Of course this is a big thing back home,” he added. “There’s more skill and it’s faster here compared to the USHL. More defense and good goalies in the USHL. Almost the same. If you come here you get more confidence and want to shoot the puck more and score more goals.”
“It’s tough to play against Latvia. Little country, they don’t have anything to lose. They want to beat us. We just have to play our game.”
When he’s not scoring goals you can catch him scoring some of his favorite dishes.
“I’m not sure there is anything I can’t get at home that I can get in the United States. So we go out a lot and get Sushi and go to steakhouses,” Tolvanen revealed.
Tolvanen has made his mark in this tournament and this coming June he’ll do it again at the 2017 NHL Draft in Chicago.