Urho Vaakanainen, Boston Bruins 2017 first-round pick, signs three-year entry-level contract
The Boston Bruins signed 2017 first-round pick Urho Vaakanainen to a three-year entry-level deal Wednesday worth $925,000, plus bonuses, according to a team release.
Vaakanainen, 19, spent the 2017-18 season with SaiPa in the Finnish Liiga, finishing the year with four goals and seven assists for 11 points in 43 games. The 6-foot-0, left-shot defenseman is generally regarded as an extremely talented skater with a stay-at-home mentality on the blue line.
The Joensuu, Finland native immediately jumps into the mix as a contributor at the NHL level next season, joining fellow prospects Jeremy Lauzon and Jakub Zboril as youngsters vying for ice time. The Bruins currently have Zdeno Chara, Torey Krug and Matt Grzelcyk set to man the left side of the blue line next season, but could look to upgrade at the position.
The Bruins took Vaakanainen 18th overall in the 2017 draft, one round ahead of center Jack Studnicka, who had a terrific 2017-18 season as well.