The Florida Panthers have made an addition to their coaching staff, adding former NHL forward Tuomo Ruutu as an assistant coach.
Ruutu, 38, has spent the past two seasons with the New York Rangers and was their assistant director of player development last season.
“We are proud to welcome Tuomo to the Panthers and receive him as an addition to Joel’s coaching staff,” Florida GM Bill Zito said in a statement.
“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 native of Vantaa, Finland, worked as an assistant coach with Team Finland at the 2019, 2020 and 2021 World Junior Championships, most recently working with 2020 first-round pick Anton Lundell.
Florida signed Lundell to his entry-level contract and he will be at training camp when it opens in September.
Ruutu was the ninth-overall pick of the 2001 NHL Draft by Chicago and ended up playing in 735 games with Chicago (2003-08), Carolina (2007-14), and New Jersey (2013-16).
Tuomo’s brother Jarkko played 11 NHL seasons between the Vancouver, Pittsburgh, Ottawa and Anaheim; he is now European Development Coach for the Columbus Blue Jackets. His brother Mikko serves as Chief European Scout for the Ottawa Senators.