Montreal Canadiens sign Jesperi Kotkaniemi

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Jesperi Kotkaniemi
PLYMOUTH, MI - FEBRUARY 14: Jesperi Kotkaniemi #28 of the Finland Nationals skates up ice with the puck against the Russian Nationals during the 2018 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament game at USA Hockey Arena on February 14, 2018 in Plymouth, Michigan. Russia defeated Finland 4-0. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)*** Local Caption *** Jesperi Kotkaniemi

The Montreal Canadiens have signed center Jesperi Kotkaniemi to a three-year entry level contract. The agreement will see Kotkaniemi earn $832,500 at the NHL level with a signing bonus of $92,500 per season, for an average annual value of $925,000. There are also performance bonuses. He is set to make $70,000 per season at the AHL level.

Jesperi Kotkaniemi Signs With Habs

In his only professional season, Kotkaniemi had 10 goals and 19 assists for 29 points in 57 games with Assat Pori of SM-Liiga. He also added 20 minutes in penalties. Kotkaniemi was drafted third overall by the Montreal Canadiens in the 2018 NHL Draft.

The Finish center went a lot earlier than expected as the Habs decided to go with what they needed at centre. Kotkaniemi fills a huge need for the Habs up the middle. The Finnish center who went 3rd overall was invited to the Habs development camp this summer. It’s doubtful he’ll be ready this year but in a year or two he could work wonders for the Habs. He was one of seven centers picked by the Canadiens in this years draft.

One factor that we may see Kotkaniemi soon is the Habs getting Joel Armia from the Winnipeg Jets. The two of them come from the same town and Kotkaniemi looked up to Armia growing up. Expect Kotkaniemi to be the next big notable center for the Habs. It will be interesting to see how fast he develops and when he joins the team in Montreal.

 

PLYMOUTH, MI – FEBRUARY 14: Jesperi Kotkaniemi #28 of the Finland Nationals skates up ice with the puck against the Russian Nationals during the 2018 Under-18 Five Nations Tournament game at USA Hockey Arena on February 14, 2018 in Plymouth, Michigan. Russia defeated Finland 4-0. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)*** Local Caption *** Jesperi Kotkaniemi

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