Nashville, Tenn. – Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed 2012 fourth-round draft pick Mikko Vainonen (MEE-koh vigh-NOH-nehn) to a three-year entry-level contract.
Vainonen, 19 (4/11/94), spent his first season with the Kingston Frontenacs in 2012-13 after being selected sixth overall by them in the 2012 CHL Import Draft. The 6-2, 222-pound defenseman ranked fourth among Kingston blueliners in points (4g-18a-22pts) and tied for the team lead in points during the 2013 postseason (2g-1a-3pts, 4gp). The Helsinki, Finland native played for his hometown HIFK squad at various age levels prior to making the jump to North America, which included league titles at the junior level (under-20) in 2012, and at the under-16 level in 2010.
Nashville's sixth choice, 118th overall (fourth round), in the 2012 Entry Draft participated in Finland's selection camp for the 2013 World Junior Championship, captained the Finnish squad at the 2012 U-18 World Championships, and also represented his homeland at the 2011 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge. He is on Twitter @mvalu5.