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Eeli Tolvanen is the Finnish surprise of the NHL season – the NHL

Hockey player Eeli Tolvanen once rose from the bush to the lips of the people and lost almost as suddenly. Now he’s in the headlines again, but for how long?

Eeli Tolvanen a career as a hockey player is remembered for exactly one season. It was 2017-18.

An unknown young gentleman from the U.S. Junior Series at the time put a storm of storm first at the KHL, then at the Olympics. Then Tolvanen made it to the NHL and the World Cup. A biography also came to the shops.

  • This story was published in Urheilulehti earlier in the winter. Subscribe to Urheilulehti for your home from here.

After that, the sparkle around the gold boy ran out like a wall. During 2019 and 2020, Tolvanen did not draw a drawing on the NHL ice. He was buried in the deep veins of the AHL far beyond the limelight.

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It has already been doubtful whether Tolvan will become an NHL player at all. And it’s still not known, but now Tolvanen is back on the radar.

Yet The first matches of the Nashville Predators season were watched from the sidelines, but when the screen at the turn of January-February finally opened, Tolvanen took advantage of it.

Since then, he has been part of the standard equipment of the Predators’ attack.

– Last summer was a long training period, during which I did a lot of strength training. The episode was exactly what I needed, Tolvanen says.

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– I myself realized that this is a significant year for myself and that it would be a bit like having to succeed. It pushed forward and allowed it to keep up with the chores. Now it is producing results.

Tolvanen has been one of the biggest Finnish surprises of the NHL season. Precisely because expectations for him were not terribly high – if there were any. The fall season in the Jokers didn’t promise much yet.

However, for the first time, he has got his feet properly between the doors in the NHL.

A good piece of just over a month does not guarantee anything yet, Tolvanen knows it himself. His career has so far been marked by hot and cold pipes in both the AHL and the Jokers, but now the level should be able to remain high in order for the place in the NHL to stabilize.

The scores haven’t dizzy yet, but what’s more important about Tolvanen in the first place is that he’s been able to play more consistently in the NHL at all.

Previously Tolvanen was known as a one-sided assault head master who knows how to shoot sharply. Instead of individual flashes, the key to playing field permanence has been in a reliable base game.

– When there are the first eight games in the auditorium and then you get a place to show in the triple chain, you don’t immediately start making the tip pen as the lowest player. Mainly I tried to do a lot of plenty of work, to play a physical game and do things in a way that koutsit confidence. Especially in the first games, it’s pretty easy to trigger, so the little things have to be done right, he says.

– Of course I’m trying to focus on them even more. Now I find that playing time goes up and gets overwhelming responsibility. When you get a puck with superiority, there is also a better puck tattoo in the game. That way, I dare to try a little stuff that I didn’t dare in the first games, Tolvanen said last week.

Eeli Tolvanen (left) was thought to be already stuck in the ranks of the Milwaukee Admirals, but it turned out otherwise.­

Two full seasons in the AHL trained Tolvan to be a much more physical and wrestling player than before, which is most often the lifeblood of surviving in the NHL.

– They were big years in terms of development. I left there as a much more holistic player than I did there. Got to fight and fight a lot. I think that has really made it a lot easier now in the NHL. I’m a lot stronger and I am able to win a match.

– In the AHL I had to fight against tough guys in every game. At times, they were even more physical than in the NHL.

Time at AHL also raised 21-year-old Tolva mentally. Age is easily forgotten when you recall that this guy led the Lions to the Olympics “then sometime years ago”.

– It is not easy to be alone in the AHL. Traveling by bus and there are lots of tough games. It’s nothing like dancing with roses, but it also teaches and strengthens a lot as a person.

– During that couple of years, I learned a lot about myself and everything else. I can do many things differently now. It also appears on the rink that I am mentally stronger.

Although the invitation to the NHL was not part of it, Tolvanen’s faith was not put to the test.

– I knew that there has been a tough team here in Nashville and anyway, it is customary to spend time in the AHL first. Many players have gone through the school in Milwaukee. This is the way an organization works.

Nashville head coach John Hynes Tolvanen recently stressed that Tolvanen has earned his place in the game precisely because he has proven to be a reliable non – puck player.

Fortunately for Tolvanen, Nynville is piloted by Hynes. Namely, during his more than a year as coach, it has become clear that in Predators, all seats are allocated on the basis of screenings, not salary or history.

Thus, Tolvanen quickly got into the team’s number one chain with his cheerful grip Filip Forsbergin and long ago planted as a central striker Mikael Granlundin chest. The plot was also found to be the dominant supremacy of the Norris winner Roman Josin aisaparina.

– It’s pretty easy to get overwhelmed to play with guys like that. It has pretty tough names around… Josi, Forsberg, (Ryan) Johansen, Granlund … It’s just up to you to put the puck in the net.

After taking the lead and growing his self-confidence, Tolvanen has also been able to make better use of his shots. He has been one of Nashville’s toughest shooters.

Eeli Tolvanen tries to pull whenever there is a chance.­

That is why he was known in Finland a few years ago. The “cannon of Tolvanen” that also wreaked havoc on the lions was then a concept almost similar to “Whip of the Wave”.

– Top I did not get hardly any seats, but the game progressed, I got more shot. There has been a feeling that whenever there is a place, I try to shoot. Sometimes a slightly weaker shot can go to Dad. Through it comes successes and self-confidence. And then you dare to play it in your own style. In my style, Shooting is pretty much the big part.

Tolvanen has not received much feedback from the coaching.

– Aren’t they quite happy? Game time has gone up, and there’s more responsibility, so isn’t that a pretty good sign?

Now Tolvanen has taken the first step in conquering the NHL and has already gained a second leg on the team. If the role stays in the top chains and dominates, the next step is to transfer the successes to the scoreboard and forge when the iron is hot.

Tolvanen has quickly gotten into the same field with tough names. Here’s a chat partner, Roman Josi.­

Advanced statistics also show Tolvanen’s success in the early part of the season. When he was the most even on the ice during his first 14 matches, the finish points were recorded in Nashville’s favor 60-45. Tolvanen’s ratio was the best of the whole team.

As a team The Nashville season has not been very festive. The playoffs can also be under a rock.

Already during the early part of the season, strong rumors have circulated about the team about possible clearance sales. The transfer has been speculated, for example, to Granlund and Erik Haulalle.

From Tolvanen’s point of view, however, Nashville’s downturn, and through it the player deals, would not necessarily be a bad thing at this point in his career. In that case, it could be even more likely that he would be allowed to play the lead role throughout the season. There is no much better place to develop.

Tolvanen has now, for the first time, given evidence that talks about a breakthrough in the NHL are no longer out of the wind.

Tolvanen is no longer a boy among men. Even his face is already adorned with rough hairs – as the season progresses, perhaps even thicker.

– It was a buck on the trip Juuse Saroksen with when neither drove a mustache. When I then got a comment on them, Juuse threw in whether they should grow all season. Let’s see which one lasts longer, Tolvanen laughs.

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