Today, the Boston Bruins made some news as they announced the signing of defenseman Urho Vaakanainen to a three-year entry level contract with a yearly cap hit of $925,000, plus bonuses.
Vaakanainen was drafted by the Bruins 18th overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
He spent the 2017-18 campaign playing for SaiPa in the Finnish Liiga, scoring four goals and 11 points in 43 games. He led all defenseman on his team with a plus-eight rating. To go along with that, he played in nine playoff games, tallying only one assist.
In 2016-17, the Joensuu, Finland native tallied two goals and six points over his 41 regular-season games with Liiga’s JYP. He was also a plus-five.
The 19-year-old skated in five games for Team Finland in the 2018 World Junior Championship. Throughout those five games, the blue-liner only recorded one assist with a plus-three rating.
Overall, Vaakanainen won’t be looked at to make an immediate impact this year. For one, the Bruins have a lot of defensemen, many of them young. Also, he’s still developing and doesn’t seem as though he’ll be ready until the 2019-20 season.
Either way, the Bruins clearly look at him as someone who will be apart of this next core of young guns.