COLUMBUS, OHIO -- The Columbus Blue Jackets have signed forward Markus Hannikainen to a two-year entry level contract, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today. As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.
Hannikainen, 22, recorded 19 goals and 27 assists for 46 points with 51 penalty minutes and a +22 plus/minus rating in 60 games with JyP HT Jyvaskyla in his first full season in Finland’s SM-liiga and added 2-3-5 in four playoff games in 2014-15. He finished second on the club in goals, third in both assists and points, and was among the SM-liiga’s leaders in goals (fourth-tied), assists (10th-tied), points (eighth), plus/minus (first) and games played (first-tied).
The Helsinki, Finland native, who participated in the 2014 Blue Jackets Development Camp last July, has registered 22-31-53 with 67 penalty minutes and +26 in 117 career games with Jokerit Helsinki, HPK Hameenlinna and JyP HT Jyvaskyla in the SM-liiga, Finland’s top professional league. He collected 3-3-6 with eight penalty minutes and a +6 plus/minus rating in 22 games split between Jokerit Helsinki and HPK Hameenlinna in 2013-14.
The 6-2, 185-pound forward also tallied 7-11-18 and 10 penalty minutes in 46 games with Kiekko-Vantaa of Mestis, Finland’s second-highest professional league, from 2011-2014 and 23-26-49 with 34 penalty minutes in 67 games with Jokerit U20 of the Jr. A SM-liiga from 2010-14.
Hannikainen has registered 1-1-2 with eight penalty minutes in 19 appearances for Finland at international competition. He served as an alternate captain at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Championships and 2011 U-18 World Championships, while also representing Finland at the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championships.