One truth about professional hockey is that there never seems to be enough right-shot defensemen to go around. After trading Filip Hronek before the trade deadline, the Red Wings only had two on their roster. Most of Detroit’s prospect defensemen are left shots.
NHL coaches prefer to play right-shot defensemen on the right side, and left-shot D men on the left side
That’s why the Red Wings signing of Finnish defenseman Antti Tuomisto, 22, is timely. The Red Wings’ 2019 second-round pick (35th overall) is 6-foot-5. He adds more size to their roster and fills a need for more right shots in the blue line prospect pool.
UPDATE: The #RedWings today signed defenseman Antti Tuomisto to a two-year entry-level contract beginning with the 2023-24 season.
— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) March 19, 2023
Tuomisto spent this season playing for TPS Turku in Finland’s SM-Liiga. He was the highest-scoring defenseman in the age 23-and-under category.
Former Denver Player
Before playing in Finland’s top league, Tuomisto played two seasons of college hockey at Denver. He played with Red Wings prospects Carter Mazur and Shai Buium and helped the Pioneers win the NCAA Division 1 Championship in 2022. Mazur and Buium are still at Denver trying to win back-to-back championships.
The right shot vs. left shot defensemen issue has been topical in Detroit recently because of injuries. Ben Chiarot is a left-shot who is comfortable playing the right side, but he is injured. Right-shot defenseman Gustav Lindstrom was also injured for Saturday’s game. That meant Moritz Seider was the only right-shot defenseman in the lineup against Colorado.
“In an ideal world, teams build three and three, but it’s the reality, right-shot D are tough to come by in this league, especially elite ones,” Detroit coach Derek Lalonde said. “So at times guys are going to have to play on their off-hand. I don’t mind giving different guys looks and minutes on their off-hand because it might be something going forward for us in the future.”
The Red Wings haven’t said when Tuomisto is coming to North America.