RALEIGH, NC - Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has tendered an offer sheet to restricted free agent forward Jesperi Kotkaniemi. The one-year contract, which Kotkaniemi has signed, pays a salary of $6,100,015 for the 2021-22 season and carries a $20 signing bonus. The Montreal Canadiens have seven days to match the offer. If the Canadiens do not match the offer, they will receive a first-round pick and a third-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft as compensation from the Hurricanes.
"Jesperi Kotkaniemi accepted our offer. He wants to come to Carolina," said Waddell. "He sees the core we've built here and he wants to be a part of that. We're proud, but there's still a waiting period. When you make an offer like that, we saw a vulnerable position. The offer, with the compensation and the core we have, we realized that it was the best chance we had to get the player."
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 registered 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.