Tarmo Reunanen looking like a starter for New York Rangers defense

The name Tarmo Reunanen was not one many New York Rangers fans knew much of back in 2016. Selected 98th overall in the fourth round, only prospect connoisseurs were aware he existed. Now, Rangers fans are hearing it more and more as it looks like the 22 year-old is ready to make a serious pitch for a starting job.

Tarmo Reunanen is ready to come to the Rangers and compete

While the Rangers are flirting with the idea of moving Tony DeAngelo to his offside on left defense, Reunanen is ready to take a spot there. “I have no idea about the schedule but I am ready to leave immediately when everything is clear and I get the call from the Rangers,” he told Forever Blueshirts back in October.

Tarmo Reunanen
Reunanen in Finland (Juha Sinisalo)

At the time of our conversation, the left-handed defender was playing in TUTO, Finland’s second tier league. He dominated TUTO with 9 points in 7 games before finally working a deal with HPK in Liiga. In 6 games of action, he has 2 points (1G,1A) and is averaging well over 24 minutes per game.

He’s also not shy about shooting. In a game on November 18th against JYP, he attempted 9 shots in 26:54 of ice. Tarmo followed up that performance with six more shot attempts and notching a goal against TPS. However, what impressed those watching was his 28:58 of ice in that game on November 21st.

Reunanen was in action as well today. He recorded an assist and logged 24:29 of ice in a 5-2 loss. The point I am trying to get across is that Reunanen is playing #1 defenseman minutes in Finland’s premier league. All of this bodes well for his NHL future.

Special Announcement: Forever Blueshirts podcast will be back on Friday with special guest and 1994 NYR Stanley Cup Champ, Nick Kypreos!

Reunanen no stranger to playing with Kaapo Kakko

Reunanen is friendly with fellow Finn, Kaapo Kakko. “We have played only couple games together in juniors…so not much,” he told us last May. “We have practiced in the same summer training group, the last couple summers so we talk a lot.”

The two Finns do know each other well and Tarmo was able to provide further insight on the Rangers 2nd overall pick in 2019. “As a person he is absolutely great and a funny guy also. He definitely loves hockey a lot. He never wants to lose no matter what he does“.

As the NHL and NHLPA work out their differences, Reunanen is ready to leave Liiga and report to Rangers training camp. He is going to be one to keep an eye on. That’s because Tarmo is ready to challenge both Libor Hajek and Jack Johnson for a starting role on the left side defense.

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Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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