Jesperi Kotkaniemi is headed to Raleigh.
After signing a one-year, $6.1-million offer sheet with the Carolina Hurricanes last week that put his former club, the Montreal Canadiens, on the clock to either match or let him walk, Marc Bergevin and Co. announced Saturday that they are not matching the Canes’ offer.
In doing so, the Canadiens gain Carolina’s first- and third-round picks for 2022, while the Hurricanes gain a 21-year-old third-overall pick in Kotkaniemi.
“Carolina has used a tool available to them in the collective bargaining agreement and we accept that decision,” Canadiens GM Marc Bergevin said, via a release.
Said Hurricanes GM Don Waddell of his team’s newest acquisition: “Jesperi Kotkaniemi is a player who has been on our radar since before his draft year. We believe he will flourish in Rod Brind’Amour’s system and culture, and he will be an important piece of what we are building in Carolina for years to come.”
The young Finn, who joins a trio of countrymen in Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen and Antti Raanta, has three big-league seasons under his belt, which saw him put up 62 total points through 171 career games. Through 29 post-season appearances, he’s put up a combined nine goals and 12 points.
Kotkaniemi’s one-year deal with Carolina carries not only a salary of $6,100,015 but also a $20 signing bonus. The Canadiens, meanwhile, now have 12 picks in the 2022 NHL Draft, including two first-rounders and three third-rounders, should they elect to replace their former centreman via the trade market.