2019-20 Team: Tappara/Jukurit
Date of Birth: Aug 17, 2000
Place of Birth: Tampere, Finland
Ht: 5-foot-8 Wt: 159 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2020 third-year eligible
Kristian Tanus will be trying to avoid being passed over for a third straight time when the NHL Draft gets going in a few weeks. Standing at a slight 5-foot-8 and 159 pounds with tremendous hockey IQ, he has been overlooked mostly because of his lack of size and strength. He is a sneaky, precise playmaker, solid faceoff man and can play on both special teams, but his size will always be an issue at the highest level.
Related: 2020 NHL Draft Guide
Tanus did have an impressive showing playing for Finland at the 2020 World Junior Championship leading his team with two goals and nine points. Just like most undersized forwards, he has a tremendous work ethic and intense motor. His size doesn’t stop him from trying to fight along the boards, even though he loses almost every battle. His defensive game is also quite polished, which could help him make the NHL one day as an energy forward in the bottom-six.
Tanus is admittedly a long shot to make it to the NHL, but the later rounds are where you take chances on players like this. His overall package may not scream it, but he has a few intriguing skills that could translate to NHL success. He just has to be given a chance by someone. May be the third time will be lucky this time?
Other THW Draft Profiles
Kristian Tanus – NHL Draft Projection
Tanus has the skill, work ethic and hockey IQ for a team to possibly take a flyer on him in the seventh round. His performance at the 2020 WJC might have turned some heads his way, but ultimately he is still a project that may or may not pan out at the NHL level. That’s why I think he gets selected towards the end of the draft proceedings, where risk kind of goes out the window.
“Tanus is small and that causes the expected problems in board battles, but he competes hard and his size doesn’t stop him from trying. His skating could also be better for a player of his size.” – Asko Huuki, FinnProspects
“Small quality playmaker who plays with some edge and willingness to go to the hard areas. Was a dominant face off man in the World junior Showcase where he QB ed the power play from the half wall and setting up quality chances. Has good edging but is an average skater who can add a burst when its needed. Has quick stick. Plays to his strengths and although he has issues against bigger players, perseveres and has success at the junior level. Diminutive centre with excellent vision and hockey IQ, and terrific passing prowess Strong two way player. in the Finnish second division. Plays on the PK too.” – Bill Placzek, Draft Site
“Tanus is a skilled puck possession player with a good eye for the game. High hockey IQ makes him a dangerous playmaker, one who can deliver passes with pinpoint accuracy. He worked well on the cycle. Although his top speed is around average, Tanus is a strong skater with a quick first step and some nice agility. Shifty, slick with the puck and has some subtle moves in his repertoire which makes him difficult to contain.” – Finnish Junior Hockey
- Hockey IQ
- Two-way game
- Work ethic
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
Tanus could make the NHL as a utility forward in the bottom-six, mostly because of his two-way game, faceoff abilities and hockey IQ. The fact that he doesn’t give up also bodes well for the future, as that is usually what determines success for players of his stature.
Risk – 4/5, Reward – 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 6/10, Defence – 7/10
Tanus was named a top-three player for Finland at the end of the 2020 WJC tournament.
Matthew Zator is a THW freelance writer, media editor, and scout who lives and breathes Vancouver Canucks hockey, the NHL Draft, and prospects in general. He loves talking about young players and their potential. Matthew is a must-read for Canucks fans and fans of the NHL Draft and its prospects. For interview requests or content information, you can follow Matthew through his social media accounts which are listed under his photo at the conclusion of articles like this one about Tyler Motte.