The Toronto Maple Leafs signed forward Miro Aaltonen to an entry-level contract, the team announced Friday.
The 23-year-old spent this past season with Vityaz Podolsk in the KHL. His 44 points (19 goals, 25 assists in 59 games) was the most in the league among players aged 24 and under.
Aaltonen was drafted 177th overall by the Anaheim Ducks in 2013 but has never suited up for an NHL regular season game.
Prior to this past season in the KHL, Aaltonen played the bulk of five seasons in Finland’s SM-Liiga. he spent more 3 1/2 seasons with the Espoo Blues where he put up 105 points in 175 games. In 2015-16 he was teammates with Sebastian Aho and Jesse Puljujarvi on Oulun Kärpät.
I don’t know too much about this player. It’s hard to tell if he’s going to be an integral part of the team at this point or if he’ll just be another throwaway piece. The Leafs have had some hits and some misses when it comes to European free agents in recent years, but this is a low-risk signing that could pay big dividends down the road if he pans out.