Teemu Pulkkinen was a dominant player in Finnish junior hockey this season, and showed remarkable chemistry on the Finnish U-18 team last summer alongside highly touted prospect Mikael Granlund.
Offensively, Pulkkinen is the real deal. He’s blessed with a phenomenal shot and good judgement on when to use it, he finds seems for passes with ease, and he’s lethal in the offensive zone. He’s also dominant on the power play.
Other areas of Pulkkinen’s game need work. His defensive game hasn’t won him any fans. He’s not a big player and there’s a perception that he can spend too much time on the outside, not pushing defenders the way he’ll need to as a professional. He’s also only an average skater. Finally, Pulkkinen suffered both a wrist and ankle injury that cost him portions of this season.
All that said, Pulkkinen’s goal-scoring is what puts him this high on my list. For all the warts this player has, nothing is more important than putting the puck in the net and Pulkkinen does that as well as anybody and better than most.
McKeen’s Rank: #21 - “Although under sized, Pulkkinen is an absolute tyrant in the offensive zone.”
THN Rank: #50 – “‘He’s a pure sniper,’ one scout said. ‘He’s got a great shot, a great release. Average size, average skater, but you watch the game and all he does is score.’”