RALEIGH, NC - Ron Francis, Executive Vice President and General Manager of the National Hockey League's Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has agreed to terms with forward Janne Kuokkanen (YAN-eh KWOH-kahn-ehn) on a three-year, entry-level contract. On the NHL level, the deal will pay Kuokkanen $700,000 in 2017-18, $750,000 in 2018-19, and $800,000 in 2019-20. On the American Hockey League (AHL) level, he will be paid $70,000 per season, and Kuokkanen receives a signing bonus of $277,500.
"Janne was outstanding in our rookie tournament in Traverse City in September, and stayed in North America to continue his development in the Ontario Hockey League," said Francis. "He's a smart, skilled forward and we look forward to the start of his professional career."
Kuokkanen, 18, totaled 26 goals and 36 assists (62 points) and a plus-23 rating, appearing in 60 of 68 regular-season games for London of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in 2016-17. The Oulusalo, Finland, native was tied for third among Knights skaters in goals and fourth on the team in scoring and had 16 points (7g, 9a) on the power-play for London. The Knights host the Windsor Spitfires in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series on Friday.
Carolina's second-round selection, 43rd overall, in the 2016 NHL Draft, Kuokkanen has represented Finland in a number of international tournaments, including the 2017 World Junior Championship, the 2016 U18 World Junior Championship and the 2014 U-17 World Hockey Challenge. Prior to joining London, he was a product of the Karpat (Liiga) development system, where he was teammates with Hurricanes forward Sebastian Aho.