Name: Joni Puurula
Hometown: Kokkola, Finland
Acquired: 2000 NHL Draft, 8th round (243rd)
Quick reflexes, and good lateral movement are his main assets. Is benefiting from great experience in the SM Liiga. Is strong down low, and is mentally tough, doesn’t get rattled.
Puck handling skills need improvement, as his stickhandling and passing need to be better. Has struggled with consistency as times. Size is somewhat of a concern.
HW Updates, by Dan Linn
March 2004 – Playoffs Report – HPK– Joni Puurula has had an up and down season, but after coming back from injury he has put up some impressive numbers as looks to help his team go far in this years playoffs, as he lead them to the bronze in last years playoffs. This year HPK takes on Lukko, and as of today have swept the series 4-0 and are the first team to advance to the next round which is a good start to the playoffs for Puurula and HPK.
February 2004 – With the injury to starter Rob Tallas, Puurula has taken back the starting role, and has continued to put up impressive numbers for HPK in the sm-liiga. After being named the starter last season, Puurula has had some problems with consistency, but he works with the goalie coach of the Finnish National Team to help him iron out his all round game.
January 2004 – Puurula after being named the starter last year, had a shaky playoff series at times, so a veteran goalie was brought in to help with the goaltending duties, but in his first game of the season, Puurula was injured on the first shot he faced. He has made it back into the lineup, but with a hot goaltender in front of him, ice time has been hard to come by.
October 2003 – Puurula was acquired in the 2000 draft, taken in the 9th round, 234rd overall. After being named the starter last year for HPK in the sm-liiga, the top league in Finland, Puurula put up some decent numbers, and helped his team to the bronze in the league playoffs. This year was a different story though. A veteran goalie from North America was brought over and Puurula lost his starting job. To make matters worse, he was injured on the first save of the game in the first game he played this season. He has recently returned from injury, but will find playing time harder to come by, with a hot goalie in front of him.
October 2003 – Special Report – (‘00, 8th round 243rd)G. Puurula has lost his starting job with HPK in the SM-Liiga, and to make matter worse, after watching from the bench for every game so far, Puurula finally got into game action, only to be injured on his fist save of the game. No word as to how long he will be out, but when he returns, he won’t be getting the ice time he has last year, if his replacement continues to do so well. Not good news for the young Finnish netminder, who may consider crossing over the pond to North America next year if playing time is limited where he is currently.
September 2003 – After leading his team to a bronze in last years playoffs, the young goalies season has not started in a good way. His team, HPK has brought in a veteran North American goalie, Rob Tallas, who is playing very well so far. Since being named the backup, Puurula has not gotten any starts, although he was in nets for a big game against one of the top teams in the SM-liiga. But, on the very first save of the game, he was injured as he twisted his ankle. Could miss a few weeks.