Winnipeg Jets Top 25 Under 25 -
#18 - Joona Luoto
6’3” 192 lbs - Winger - Shoots Left - Age: 21
SM-Liiga 2018-2019 Season: 58 GP - 8G - 8A - 16PTS - 32PIM - 142 SOG
Undrafted by any NHL club, Joona Luoto was signed to a three-year entry-level contract by the Winnipeg Jets back on June 15. The 21-year-old had been plying his trade in Finland’s SM-Liiga for the past few seasons with Tappara Tampere.
Luoto was part of the Tappara team that won the SM-Liiga championship in 2016-17, playing 24 games in the regular season and 10 more in the playoffs and contributing six goals and an assist during that time. Prior to joining the senior team, Luoto came up through the U16, U18 and U20 teams for Tappara, and played alongside Patrik Laine on the U18 and U20 teams on occasion.
His play improved a bit in his next seasons, as he scored eight goals and added eight assists in both 2017-18 and 2018-19 in 47 and 58 games respectively. He also contributed six points in 24 playoff games during that time.
Luoto represented his native Finland at the 2017 World Juniors, along with Kristian Vesalainen, scoring once and adding a helper in six games, as Finland came in ninth.
Luoto is not seen as a high scoring player, but one that brings speed and grit to his game, like a taller Brandon Tanev but without the six-year, $21-million contract.
Luoto recently took part in the Rookie Showcase, with one assist and six shots in three games played. He’s likely to start the year with the Manitoba Moose, but is one of 24 forwards invited to Winnipeg Jets camp which kicks off later this week.