2008-09: Turkulainen, born in Stockholm and holding dual citizenship, returned to Finland after playing three years of junior hockey in Sweden – spending most of the season with Tappara’s A junior team before a late season call-up to the SM-Liiga club that included one game in the league’s “play down” round. Against the younger (and often smaller) competition at A junior, Turkulainen showed some flashes of an offensive game, particularly in moving the puck quickly to create offensive breaks, but he was also victimized at times due to poor decision-making or positional play. Still very raw in terms of “hockey sense”, Turkulainen has yet to reach his potential – which is substantial.
Turkulainen’s biggest assets are his size, skating speed, a big shot and an enthusiasm for the game. To become a legitimate prospect as a defenseman, he must learn to channel his sometimes reckless play – becoming more physical in his own end yet avoiding needless penalties – and develop a better understanding of the positional roles of a defenseman while maintaining a spirited approach to the game. With substantial skills for a player of his size, Turkulainen sometimes tries to do more than is necessary or make perfect plays, rather than letting his tools take over.