With a 2-1 win on Saturday, TPS punched their ticket to the finals of the Liiga playoffs. Taking a starring role in the win is New York Islanders 2021 fifth-round pick Eetu Liukas.
The power forward has worked his way onto the Turku side from the U20 squad to the fourth line and is now up to the team's third line. Through 48 regular-season games, Liukas put up eight goals and 12 points.
He was an excellent depth piece for TPS as they overcame a drop in the standings. They went from 9th by week 19 to 4th by week 25 of the season. A huge turnaround. Liukas put up five points in 16 games. Excellent depth offense that still going strong in the playoffs.
New York Islanders fifth-rounder powers team to playoff finals
Through 13 playoff games, Liukas has four points all of them are goals. His latest was this one in Game 6 against Ilves. A goal that would prove to be the game-winner and knock Ilves out of the playoffs and also push TPS to the Finals.
The goal isn't anything remarkable outside of Liukas positioning himself well so he's open for Intonen's pass in the slot. But that's the strength of Liukas's game. He does the simple stuff very well. He's a trustworthy player because of his solid play at both ends of the ice. He's basically a coach's dream.
He's a fifth-round pick though so we'll see if he can elevate his game so he can't play in North America. When I spoke to him last, the plan seemed to be to stay in Finland for 2022-23 and then perhaps, if he gets signed, head to North America.
Either way, this fifth-round pick now has a chance to add some serious hardware to his resume before eventually getting to North America.