He played in the JYP organization with their junior teams from 1997 to 2001 and then graduated to their professional team.
Tuomas Pihlman was drafted by the New Jersey Devils in the 2nd round, 48th overall, in the 2001 NHL Entry Draft. From 2003 to 2007 he played in North America with the Devils' organization. He played a total of 15 NHL games over three seasons, 2003–04, 2005–06 and 2006–07. Over that span he also played for the Albany River Rats and the Lowell Devils.
In 2007 he returned to Finland and the JYP team.