The Sioux City Musketeers have signed forward Eeli Tolvanen to a tender for the 2015-16 season, using one of two available tenders available to them for Phase One of the USHL Draft that takes place on May 4th, 2015.
Now in its fourth year, the USHL tender process allows teams to sign up to two 1999 birth year players prior to the 2015 USHL Draft. The first “tender” for a team would take the place of a first-round pick in Phase One of the USHL Draft. If the team tenders a second player, that would take the place of its second-round selection in Phase One. All tendered players will be on their respective teams’ roster next season and play at least 55% of their teams’ regular season games.
Tolvanen is native of Vihti, Finland and spent this season with the Espoo Blues Under-18 team where he put up 84 total points (39g, 45a) in 41 games. He added five points (2g, 3a) over seven games when he played up with the organization’s Under-20 team.
"We are excited about signing Eeli to a USHL tender. He is just finishing up a fantastic year for the Espoo Blues and headed off to represent Finland in international competition." said Musketeers Head Coach Jay Varady. "Eeli is a player with a special skill set, and we are excited to add him to our organization and help with his development as a player.”
The 5-9 forward, who celebrates his 16th birthday later this month, comes from an Espoo program that also produced current Musketeers forward Joel Janatuinen and former forward Waltteri Hopponen. Janatuinen was fourth on the Musketeers in scoring during the regular season with 50 points (21g, 29a) over 53 games and helped them finish on top of the Western Conference standings. Hopponen was traded to the Lincoln Stars midway through the season after appearing in 82 career games in a Musketeers uniform and putting up 41 points (19g, 22a).
"We’ve had some success with Finnish players here over the past few years and want to continue to make Sioux City a destination for these players," said Varady.
Headquartered in Chicago, Illinois, the USHL celebrates its 13th season as the nation's only Tier I junior hockey league in 2014-15. A record 35 players were chosen in the 2014 NHL Draft and more than 300 players on team rosters this season are committed to NCAA Division I schools, further establishing the USHL as the world’s foremost producer of junior hockey talent.
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