The Florida Panthers have announced that the club has added Tuomo Ruutu to the club’s coaching staff as an assistant coach.
From the mouth of Bill Zito:
“We are proud to welcome Tuomo to the Panthers and receive him as an addition to Joel’s coaching staff. With his career in hockey spanning multiple decades, we believe his experience both as a player and working in player development in the NHL and internationally will be an invaluable addition to our organization as we prepare for an exciting 2021-22 campaign.”
The 38-year-old Ruutu joins the Cats coaching staff after having spent the previous two seasons with the New York Rangers, serving as an assistant director of player development in 2020-21.
The native of Vantaa, Finland, also served as an assistant coach with Team Finland at the 2019, 2020 and 2021 IIHF U20 World Junior Championships, earning a Gold Medal (2019) and a Bronze Medal (2021) coaching Panthers forward and fellow HIFK (Liiga) alum Anton Lundell.
Originally selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round (ninth overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft, Ruutu amassed 346 points (148G/198A) over 735 NHL games with the Chicago Blackhawks, Carolina Hurricanes (2007-08 to 2013-14), and New Jersey Devils.
Prior to his NHL career, Ruutu recorded 30 goals and 72 points over 129 games in Finland’s Liiga between HIFK and Jokerit.
As a player on the international stage, Ruutu earned 10 medals over 12 tournaments representing Finland.
Welcome to the fold, Tuomo!