RALEIGH, NC - Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has signed forward Saku Maenalanen to a one-year, two-way contract. The deal will pay Maenalanen $832,500 in the NHL or $70,000 in the American Hockey League (AHL) during the 2018-19 season. He receives as signing bonus of $92,500.
"Saku is a big, strong winger who can really skate," said Waddell. "Our scouting staff has been tracking this player for a long time. He had options when it came to where he would start his NHL career, and we're pleased he has chosen Carolina."
Maenalanen, 23, totaled 46 points (17g, 29a) in 59 games for Karpat in 2017-18, ranking tied for 11th among scorers in Liiga, the top Finnish professional league. The Tornio, Finland, native added 10 points (5g, 5a) in the postseason, ranking tied for fourth in playoff goals and tied for sixth in points in helping Karpat capture the league championship. Following the conclusion of Liiga's season, Maenalanen made his IIHF World Championship debut for Finland.
Originally selected by the Nashville Predators in the fifth round, 125th overall, in the 2013 NHL Draft, Maenalanen (6'3", 192 lbs.) totaled 43 goals and 53 assists (96 points) in 192 career regular-season Liiga games for Karpat. He has been a teammate of current Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho at various levels of Karpat's system, including Liiga. Maenalanen was also teammates with Hurricanes forward Teuvo Teravainen at different levels of his international career with Finland, including at the 2014 World Junior Championship.