newjerseydevils.com – The Devils today signed defenseman Anssi Salmela to his first North American contract. The announcement was made by Devils’ President/CEO/ General Manager Lou Lamoriello. As per club policy, no further terms were disclosed.
Salmela, 23, recorded 16 goals and 16 assists for 32 points while appearing in all 56 games with Tappara (Fin.) in 2007-08. Among defensemen, his 16 goals scored were tops in the Finnish League. Salmela returned to Tappara this past season after spending nearly two years with the Pelicans (Fin.).
The 5-11, 190-lb. defenseman previously played two-plus seasons with Tappara beginning in 2003-04. Salmela’s Finnish League totals show 36 goals and 42 assists for 78 points and 208 penalty minutes in 226 appearances. His European teammates included former Devils’ forward Janne Ojanen (Tappara) and current prospect Vili Sopanen (Pelicans).
Internationally, Salmela represented Finland at the 2004 World Junior Championship and, most recently, the 2008 World Championship in Quebec City, Que., and Halifax, N.S.