Canadiens sign centreman Joonas Nattinen to a three-year contract
MONTREAL – Montreal Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier announced Thursday the signing of centreman Joonas Nattinen to a three-year, two-way contract. As per club policy, financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“We are very pleased to have reached an agreement with Joonas Nattinen. Joonas is a promising young player with size and skills. Despite his young age, he proved to be a very good player in a competitive professional league in Finland for the past two seasons, and also was a key member of the Finnish national team at the World Juniors last year,” said Canadiens general manager Pierre Gauthier.
Nattinen registered two assists and served 12 penalty minutes in 21 games with Espoo and Hämeenlinna of the SM-Liiga (Finland) in 2010-11. Nattinen, 20, added two assists in four games with Espoo (Junior A SM-Liiga) and Suomi (Finland2).
In three seasons with Espoo and Hämeenlinna in the SM-Liiga, the 6’2’’, 186 lbs centreman totalled 5 assists with 20 penalty minutes in 58 games. Nattinen recorded 55 points (16 goals, 39 assists) in 51 career games in the Junior A SM-Liiga.
Nattinen was part of the Finnish team at the last three World Junior Championships (Ottawa – 2009, Saskatchewan – 2010 and Buffalo – 2011). He registered 10 points (4 goals, 6 assists) in 18 contests, including three goals in six games at the 2011 Championship.
A native of Jämsä, Finland, Nattinen was the Canadiens’ second pick (third round, 65th overall) at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
Hitting his stride