Kotkaniemi is expected to return to the Canadiens for training camp ahead of the start of the 2020-21 season. General manager Marc Bergevin mentioned in a conference call with reporters Thursday that the team was looking to secure the move for the 20-year-old.
The third overall pick from the 2018 NHL Draft had eight points in 36 games with Montreal and added 13 points in 13 games with the AHL's Laval Rockets during the 2019-20 season. In 10 games during the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs, Kotkaniemi had four goals.
The 2020-21 Liiga season began earlier this month. Assat is tied for second in the standings with 10 points through six games.