Ville Heinola, the No. 20 pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, signed a three-year, $3.42 million contract with the Winnipeg Jets on Monday. It has an average annual value of $1.14 million.
The 18-year-old defenseman had 14 points (two goals, 12 assists) in 34 regular-season games for Lukko in Liiga, Finland's top professional league, and four points (one goal, three assists) in seven playoff games last season.
"We just want him to be him and to play his game," Jets general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff said during the 2019 draft. "He's something that, from a development standpoint because he's played with men, he should be on a good development curve. He's played at a high level already and the experiences that he's gained and shown that he can play in a men's league is certainly something that is of great value."
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Heinola had two points (one goal, one assist) in five games to help Finland win gold at the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship.
"He [sustained a knee injury] at the World Juniors," Cheveldayoff said. "But in talking to our scouts and seeing the video and watching all the different things about him, he has a high, high hockey IQ."
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