Player evaluation: Tukonen

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LAURI TUKONEN

This season: 1 game, 0 goals, 0 assists, even rating,

Positives: Despite some ups and downs in his pro career thus far, he’s still a part of the Kings’ plans and it’s easy to forget that he’s still only 21 years old. When he’s playing consistently well, Tukonen uses his size to get to the net and is strong on the puck. He has the potential to play on a scoring line.

Negatives: Tukonen is about to complete his third season in the AHL and still hasn’t make a significant impact. His goal totals have actually decreased, from 14 to 13 to 9. Consistency has been a major issues, and the other parts of his game aren’t quite strong enough to make up for a lack of offensive production.

Looking ahead: It’s time for Tukonen to make a statement. Given the strong depth at the forward positions in the Kings’ system, he runs the risk of getting buried if he doesn’t make himself stand out soon. The talent is there, it seems, but he needs to show something next season.

Contract situation: Signed through 2008-09 (cap number of $885,780 next season).

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  • anthony

    In the 2004 draft, Tukonen was ranked 5th. He was also considered a possible franchise player behind Evgeny Malkin and Ovechkin.

    Anytime your name is mentioned with those players, you got to be good.

    Furthermore, this poor guy hasn’t been given a real chance to play in the NHL.
    Everytime he’s recalled, Crawfish puts on the 4th line with the loser players. And he plays less than 10 minutes.
    That’s hardly being given a chance to produce.

    If given a legitimate opportunity with descent ice time, I believe he will become every bit a player he was projected to be.

  • SuperSonic420

    He is just one of those players you scratch your head and say WTF happened with this guy?!?!

    Is he going to be the next Tomas Sandstrom, or the next Pavel Rosa? He kinda seems stuck in between somewhere and if he doesnt break out soon, other prospects such as Moller, Parse, Simmonds, and Cliche will fly past him up the ranks. If he can put it all together, he could be a dangerous third line winger someday.

  • Gord

    For the love of God Tukonen, pour it on before its too late!

  • Andre, Norway

    Tukonen is done with the kings. After 3 years in AHL and he has not put together one good season. He has been injured but to prove he can play in the NHL he has to dominate the AHL. He will be a good trow in in a deal at draft day. He deserve a shot in the NHL but he is not gonna get it with the kings.

  • metalmaster

    I can sum it up in one word
    BUST. Ovechkin or Maulkin he is not.

  • ryan oliver

    Wow, I must be feeling sick. Do I actually agree with anthony? Yup.

  • Marc Nathan

    comparing him to Pavel Rosa is silly. Pavel Rosa was a prolific AHL scorer, and Lauri Tukonen is not.

  • Anonymous

    this is a good example of why draft rankings mean no more than another GMs or for that matter another person’s draft order. It’s all just opinion. If draft rankings were more than that then drafting would be pretty easy – everyone would follow it. It would be interesting to see how accurate the draft rankings are 5 years later.

  • -J

    No way you can write this guy off as a bust yet and I would hope management has not done so. While most other 21 year old prospects are just leaving juniors and maybe getting their feet wet in the AHL, Tuk’s already completed 3 years of NA pro hockey. He’s been promoted to assistant captain, even though he is one of the youngest forwards on the monarchs. Not mentioned is that he battled with a shoulder injury his first two years, but this seems to not be a factor anymore. With the anticipated graduation of some of the Monarchs older forwards to the Kings, Tukonen will really have to turn some heads at training camp if he’s going to be on the Kings roster come fall.

    Otherwise, he should be given top line duty in Manchester at the start of the next year- if he doesn’t do much with it, he’ll likley be sent packing in a trade for a draft pick.

  • DellaNooch

    3 years of AHL, no significant numbers, why does he deserve a shot at the NHL?
    Anthony – Let me get this straight, if you were GM, you would call up an underperforming AHL player, give him quality minutes on a top line? And you think DL is a bad GM????

  • Gene

    Tuk is an ’86 born, younger than Boyle and Purcell.

    As a 19yo rookie he played well for the Monarchs and had an excellent showing at the ’06 World Junior Championship tournament.

    Last season he was slowed down by various injuries and really didn’t get his game on track.

    Now this season, especially the 2nd half, he made strides. Not only was he consistently putting up points..

    January – 6points in 11games

    February – 7points in 12 games

    March – 9points in 14 games

    April – 5points in 6 games

    ..he was speaking up in the dressing room and earned himself an “A” on his jersey.

    Lauri Tukonen will make it. That, I can guarantee. But will it be with the Kings? I hope so.

  • 40 Years of Losing

    Remember when we gave up on Olli Jokinen and traded him for Ziggy? The situation with Lauri seems very reminiscent. Palffy was a solid acquisition but watching Jokinen blossom (albeit he struggled late in the season this year)definitely makes me wonder what it would be like if we had him on our first or second line right now, especially since Palffy isn’t in the league anymore. I haven’t seen much from Tukonen but I would have to agree that if he was drafted as high as he was, there has to be something there for him to demonstrate.

  • wait n see

    Not every ahl player who could score in AHL become a good player in NHL Example: paval rosa,Jason Krog. etc. The type of game that Tukonen play is a perfect fit for the NHL and he is still young. do see any 21 years kid in the NHL. But what i like to see the kings do is to put him in with a goal score because his style is puck possession and create for the other play than if he doesn’t anything than we could say he a bust .

  • jmerc777

    I love Tukonen. Give him a chance and he’ll come on. Go Lauri and the ‘Narchs in the Playoffs!

  • nykingfan

    He was ranked that high and was expected to be as good as Malkin or Ovechkin? In his brief times up with the Kings I haven’t seen much out of him at all. Granted, he hasn’t really gotten much of a chance, but his AHL numbers don’t seem to indicate that he deserves much of a chance.
    This is an example of how some of you guys over-value players who haven’t played a game in the NHL. When talking about Stamkos it seems as though people think he’s already a superstar and put him ahead of guys like Kopitar. He very well might be better than Kopitar, or he may be the next Tukonen. All I know is I’ll take the guy who’s already done it in the NHL.

  • Moondoggie

    To succeed in the NHL, one must have success in the AHL. Lauri has not. His numbers and stock have gone down, not up ever year. He’s done…..

  • -J

    Wow- some of you stat watchers could learn a thing or two about player development. It’s not always about points scored, which is what all of you who are negatively assessing Tukonen are basing your POV on. “His numbers … have gone down”, “his AHL numbers don’t seem to indicate that he deserves much of a chance” “3 years of AHL, no significant numbers”. “Success in the AHL” is not always reflected in the points column- it’s in taking on and doing the role you’re assigned well.

    I’m curious, how many of you who think Tukonen is a bust know what the coaches in Manchester and the Kings staff asked him to work on this year? You don’t just hand out an A to a 21 year old kid who is not meeting your expectations.

    Another thing to keep in mind- Tukonen is a power forward, which traditionally takes longer to develop.

    BTW- Tukonen was never compared to Ovechkin or Malkin.

  • DellaNooch

    He’s not a bust yet, still too young for that, but hasn’t earned his ticket to the NHL…Rich put it best, he needs to make a statement next season.

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