RALEIGH, NC - Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has acquired forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi. Last Saturday, Kotkaniemi signed a one-year contract with Carolina, which pays a salary of $6,100,015 for the 2021-22 season and carries a $20 signing bonus. The Montreal Canadiens declined to match the offer and will receive a first-round pick and a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft as compensation from the Hurricanes.
"Jesperi Kotkaniemi is a player who has been on our radar since before his draft year," said Waddell. "We believe he will flourish in Rod Brind'Amour's system and culture, and he will be an important piece of what we are building in Carolina for years to come."
Kotkaniemi, 21, registered 20 points (5g, 15a) in 56 games with Montreal in 2020-21. During the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, he posted eight points (5g, 3a) in 19 games. The 6'2", 201-pound forward has tallied 62 points (22g, 40a) in 171 career NHL regular-season games, all with the Canadiens. Kotkaniemi also skated in 13 AHL games with Laval in 2019-20, recording 13 points (1g, 12a). He recorded 37 points (12g, 25a) in 67 Liiga (Finland) games over two seasons with Assat. Kotkaniemi represented Finland at both the 2017 and 2018 IIHF Under-18 World Championships, winning silver in 2017 and gold in 2018. The Pori, Finland, native was selected in the first round, third overall, of the 2018 NHL Draft by Montreal.