NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, TX – Brahmas defenseman Samu Suominen announced this weekend that he has signed a professional contract to play for TUTO Hockey in his native Finland.
In 34 games during the 2015-16 season, the 6’1” – 190 lbs. defenseman recorded 10 points and finished the season a +12.
“I’ve always dreamed about playing pro hockey and now I’ve been given the chance to make that happen. Of course it wasn’t an easy decision after having a great organization like the Brahmas, where they made it known they wanted me back,” Suominen said.
“We’re really proud of Samu and happy with his decision. Any time you get an offer to play professional hockey, anywhere in the world, that says something about your ability,” Brahmas Head Coach Dan Wildfong said of the signing.
The two-way defender will begin his contract with TUTO Hockey in the fall, a Tier II pro team based out of Turka, Finland. Founded originally as Turun Toverit in 1929, the organization became TUTO Hockey in 1988.
“I’m really excited about the chance to play in a pro league and play with older guys,” Samu continued.
Suominen becomes the second import-defensemen in as many years to sign a professional contract overseas after a year with the team. 2014-15 defensemen Anton Santesson spent the 15-16 season with Helsingborgs HC and IK Oskarshamn in his native Sweden. Helsingborgs has already retained his rights for the 2016-17 season as well.
“For Samu to be able to begin his professional hockey career at home is fantastic. The beauty of this level of junior hockey is that there are other routes than just college commitments and Samu is the perfect example. There’s nothing wrong with the path he is headed and we’re all really happy for him.”
Kupittaan jäähalli is the team’s home facility and it seats 3,000. The building was constructed in 2006. Tier I club TPS additionally plays their home games at the same arena as a member of the SM-liiga.
“I had a great time in Texas and my time with the organization was something special. I also want to thank the whole staff and all of the players who made it possible for me and it made my time in Texas so fun,” the Fin concluded by saying.
With 14 players from the 2015-16 season having committed to Division I or Division III NCAA Hockey, Suominen becomes the 15th to announce his continuation of his hockey career.