The Toronto Maple Leafs are looking overseas to bolster their depth at centre.
Sportsnet has learned that the team has signed free agent Petri Kontiola to a one-year contract.
Kontiola is a former seventh-round draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks and spent the last five seasons playing in the Russian-based league. The 29-year-old Finn also won a bronze medal while representing his country at the Sochi Olympics and earned a silver at the IIHF World Hockey Championship in May.
Known primarily as a playmaking centre, he amassed 112 assists and 175 points in 258 regular-season KHL games for Traktor and Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
In 12 NHL games with the Blackhawks during the 2007-08 season, Kontiola had five assists.
The player is believed to have paid in the neighbourhood of $600,000 from his own pocket to terminate the contract with Chelyabinsk and pursue a move to North America.
Kontiola is the second player the Leafs have brought over this week. Leo Komarov, another Finn who played in the KHL last season, signed an $11.8-million, four-year deal with Toronto on Tuesday.
Where exactly Kontiola fits among Toronto’s group of centres is unclear. He joins Nazem Kadri, Tyler Bozak and Peter Holland on the NHL roster.