Carolina added defenseman Tarmo Reunanen to the Chicago Wolves roster two days ago, and while the Finnish defenseman might not be a household name in terms of prospects, that does not mean that the newest addition to the Chicago Wolves blueline is a slouch. Carolina’s newest Finnish addition is a capable player.
His career in Chicago got off to an incredible start as he absolutely hammered a puck home from the blueline to remain at a goal a game as he starts his AHL career in the windy city. He’s a big guy, but I think it’s safe to say we can all expect the offensive numbers to drop off for the 6’0 foot, 180 lbs defender. He’s not known for being an offensive dynamo, and it’s unlikely he’s that moving forward.
"“Reunanen is an offensive-minded defenceman who can carry the puck, dangle through traffic and set up his teammates. While he relies on his offensive skills, he is not a defensive liability. Poised and calm in his own end. Doesn’t shy away from physical play, but it is not his forte.” – EliteProspects"
Reunanen was drafted in the fourth round of the 2016 NHL entry draft by the New York Rangers, and actually had a four-game stint with the NHL club last season when the league was split into four separate divisions with no inter-divisional play due to the worldwide pandemic. He didn’t play well enough to stick on one of the better young defensive units in the NHL. However, there’s a lot to like about this player.
In the AHL with the Hartford Wolf Pack, Reunanen had 17 points (2 goals, 15 assists) in 40 games, matching his season totals the year prior in 19 more games. However, this Wolf Pack team isn’t great. Reunanen still holds a +8 rating and has been a positive impact player on the team. His development is nearing an end, but he’s becoming a very useful player.
Carolina has had a lot of great defensemen come through their system recently, and we will see if the young Aanekoski, Finland native becomes anything of note, but considering that he was acquired for a player that the team signed in the summer to play for their AHL affiliate, this has the potential to work out really well. Even if Reunanen is nothing more than an AHL guy who comes up in an emergency, that would be a successful deal.