SUNRISE, Fla. - Florida Panthers President of Hockey Operations & General Manager Dale Tallon announced today that the club has agreed to terms with forward Aleksi Heponiemi on a three-year, entry-level contract beginning in the 2019-20 season.
"We are thrilled to have agreed to terms with Aleksi," said Tallon. "He is an immensely skilled and dynamic player with excellent vision and hockey IQ. Aleksi has been an elite player at every level and a leader on winning teams on the junior and international stages. We look forward to Aleksi's development with the Panthers and believe he will be an important part of our organization's success for years to come."
Heponiemi, 20, completed his first professional season, appearing in 50 games for Kärpät of Finland's Liiga and producing 46 points (16-30-46). The 5-foot-11, 154-pound native of Tampere, Finland led all Liiga rookies in points, while finishing second on Kärpät in points and tying for first on the club in assists. In the playoffs, Heponiemi tallied three goals in 17 games.
On the international stage, Heponiemi won a gold medal with Finland at the 2019 IIHF U20 World Junior Championship registering a tournament-leading nine points and six assists.
Prior to his career in Liiga, Heponiemi played two seasons with the Swift Current Broncos of the Western Hockey League (2016-17 to 2017-18), recording 204 points (56-148-204) over 129 games. In his rookie season with the Broncos, Heponiemi led all WHL rookies in assists (58) and points (86), winning the Jim Piggott Trophy as the WHL's rookie of the year.
In his second season in the WHL, Heponiemi posted a stellar 118 points (28-90-118) over 57 games and led the league in assists. Heponiemi capped off his final WHL season with a 30-point postseason effort (5-25-30) over 26 games on route to a WHL Championship with the Broncos and was named the WHL and Canadian Hockey League's most sportsmanlike player.
Heponiemi was originally selected by Florida in the second round (40th overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft.
2019-20 Season Tickets are available now. Join our territory to enjoy exclusive savings on select BB&T Center concessions, a 25% merchandise discount at Pantherland store and priority access to BB&T Center concerts and events. Visit FloridaPanthers.com/TicketCentral or call 954-835-PUCK (7825) for more information.