Blackhawks sign Joni Tuulola to 2-year entry-level deal

The 2015 sixth-round pick has been playing in Finland.

The Chicago Blackhawks agreed to terms on a two-year entry-level contract with Finnish defensive prospect Joni Tuulola on Monday. The 22-year-old Tuulola will report to AHL Rockford.

Scott Powers of The Athletic first reported the news last week.

Tuulola, who is listed at 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds, became a part of the Blackhawks organization when he was a sixth-round pick (181st overall) in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Since that draft, Tuulola has remained in his native Finland.

Tuulola played with Winnipeg Jets star Patrik Laine on Finland’s gold-medal winning World Juniors team in 2016, picking up an assist in the seven games he played. While playing in the Finnish Liiga, he appeared in 58 games with seven goals and 30 assists, a massive improvement over his eight-point season in 2016-17. That leap came after Tuulola switched teams, going from HPK to Sport in the offseason.

Tuulola joins an ever-growing group of Blackhawks blue line prospects, which is currently highlighted by 21-year-old Gustav Forsling, who started this season in the NHl, and 2017 first-round pick Henry Jokiharju.