33-Year-Old Left Wing – Free Agent
Tuomo Ruutu Contract Information:
Agreed to a four-year deal worth $4.75 million per year in February 2012.
Ruutu (lower body) was activated off injured reserve Thursday.
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Tuomo Ruutu: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Tuomo Ruutu was a trade deadline arrival in New Jersey and scattered eight points over 19 games in Newark with a modest three goals in that span. The Devils used him in a variety of situations, but last season was one of his lower offensive outputs, notching 24 points over 76 games between Carolina and New Jersey. Ruutu is one of several seemingly interchangeable forwards on the New Jersey roster and he is a solid defensive player who could see some power-play time. Donít expect huge offensive numbers, but he has cracked 50 points twice in his career.
Ruutu played most of last season with a hip injury, but still managed to record nine points in the 17 games he played. He underwent successful surgery for the ailment shortly after the end of the regular season, and it's expected he'll be ready to go come training camp. Assuming he's healthy, Ruutu should open the season as the Hurricanes' second-line right winger alongside Jordan Staal and Jeff Skinner, a combination that has good point-producing potential. Ruutu will likely have fallen off the average poolie's fantasy radar come October, so don't be afraid to take a flyer on him in the later rounds of your draft - he has good sleeper pick potential.
Though Ruutu's fantasy owners may have been disappointed by the 29 year-old's production in 2011-2012 relative to what he was able to accomplish the year previous, it is important to keep an eye on his shots on goal; tallying 156 last year, the Finnish veteran got to the net more often than he did during that more impressive 2010-2011 campaign. His production dropped 23 points from 57 to 34 and his hits total fell nearly by 150. Though Ruutu's ice-time will almost assuredly take a hit with Jordan Staal coming to town, he still makes for a decent sleeper pick in the later rounds, especially pools that reward secondary statistics such as hits.
Ruutu recovered nicely from his injury-shortened 2009-10 campaign, tallying a career-high 57 points last season without missing a single game. The 6-foot sparkplug really found his stride last year with the Hurricanes, and no signs point to the contrary moving forward.
It would be a severe injustice to put up a Ruutu bio without first cautioning you about his propensity for sustaining injuries. After all, he's a fearless skater who has a tendency to annoy opponents with plenty of hits. Ruutu can also score - he had 26 goals in 2008-09 - though it's tough to predict when he'll light the lamp. In spite of his shortcomings in regards to being prone to injury and an inconsistent point producer, Ruutu is a decent option if you ever need depth at the forward spot.
Ruutu was the source of distraction when it appeared that he would enter salary arbitration in the offseason. Setting career highs as Ruutu did last year is obviously a fine way to bid for a lucrative contract. However, despite racking up a career-best 54 points (26G, 28A) in 79 games, 'Canes brass exercised caution by putting thought into the fact that Ruutu is familiar with the injury bug. You see, Ruutu is a pesky character in his own right when it comes to hits -- he amassed 228 of them last year -- but when over-aggression leads to injuries, there is cause for concern. A bad ankle injury deemed him helpless against the Penguins in the conference finals, but nonetheless, the 'Canes eventually secured Ruutu's services with a three year, $11.4 million contract in July 2009. Now that he's healthy and satisfied with the new deal, look for plenty of production out of No. 15. GM Jim Rutherford said to the Raleigh News & Observer in the offseason that he expects 25-35 goals out of the emerging, physical Ruutu. His best years are still ahead of him.
Ruutu fit well in his new digs in the South, and he has an outside chance to exceed 55 points this season. It's more likely he'll finish with close to 50, which would still be a career high.
If there is one player on the Hawks' 2007-08 roster that has received some acclaim the last few years on the Hawks roster, it has to be Ruutu. Ruutu, who has struggled with injuries, was healthy last season playing in 71 games, but he only tallied 17 goals and 21 assists. The shine on this prospect appears to be fading before it even lit up, and he may lose out on some playing time with the influx of younger, capable talent on the roster.
Ruutu finally re-signed with the Hawks a day before the start of training camp. In the offseason it was a game of posturing as he was even talking in his home country of Finland about retiring. Ruutu was plagued with injuries in 2005-06 and his one-time bright star is dulling rapidly. He missed the first month of the 2006-07 season after spraining his left knee.
Most observers are expecting a breakout season for Ruutu after a solid second half in 2003-04. He led the team in goals with 23 and tied Kyle Calder for the team lead in power play goals with 10. He also led the team in game-winning goals with three, while being among the top five in goals, assists (21), points (44), power play goals (10) and power play points (17).