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Instant Analysis: Puustinen Signing

Thursday, 06.16.2011 / 5:02 PM CT / Features
By Jay Levin  - Nashville Predators
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Instant Analysis: Puustinen Signing
Today’s signing of Finnish forward Juuso Puustinen is an interesting depth move by the Preds. Finland is a scouting region where the Preds have had increasing success unearthing quality talent. Pekka Rinne gives the Preds major name recognition in the country, but defenseman Teemu Laakso (re-signed by the Preds yesterday) is on the verge of becoming an NHL regular, 2008 draftee Jani Lajunen is expected to make his North American debut with the organization in 2011-12, 2010 draftee Joonas Rask may make the jump this season or next season, and now Puustinen. If nothing else, the group of Finns should have a comfort level within the locker room -- the whole common language and common cultural bond.

Signed to a two-way deal, on first glance, Puustinen appears ticketed for veteran scoring line slot with the Milwaukee Admirals. And with forward Linus Klasen apparently heading back to Sweden there’s a need for another proven scoring presence for the AHL squad. But on closer inspection, his resume has some similarities to past Preds “under the radar off-season finds” like Joel Ward (in 2008) and Sergei Kostitsyn (in 2010).

At 23-years old, he’s already shown the abilities to score in Finnish Elite League – twice breaking the 10-goal mark in Finland, including a career-high 26 goals this year. The 26 goals were fourth most in the SM Liiga. Plus, Puustinen has successful experience with the North American style of play. After being selected by the Calgary Flames in the 2006 NHL Entry Draft, Puustinen came over and spent two seasons in the Western Hockey League, averaging a point a game with 59 goals and 124 points in two seasons with Kamloops.

His success last year, combined with his experience with the North American game and his NHL-ready size make Puustinen an interesting "watch" for fans looking for potential dark-horse during Training Camp.

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WESTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
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11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70

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2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Wilson 10 3 5 6 8
S. Weber 10 3 4 -4 7
R. Johansen 10 3 4 1 7
R. Josi 10 0 7 -3 7
M. Ekholm 10 3 2 3 5
J. Neal 10 3 1 -2 4
M. Fisher 10 2 2 -2 4
F. Forsberg 10 2 2 -7 4
R. Ellis 10 0 3 1 3
C. Smith 7 1 1 2 2
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Rinne 5 5 0 .920 2.33
C. Hutton 0 0 0 .000 0.00