Montreal’s Sunday signing spree continues with the team announcing that they have signed Jesperi Kotkaniemi to a three-year, entry-level contract.
The deal is worth the maximum base salary of $925,000 at the NHL level (including a 10% signing bonus) and $70,000 at the AHL level. He also can earn up to $2.5 million per season in performance bonuses. For perspective, the maximum performance bonus in an ELC is $2.85 million. It also contains a European Assignment Clause, something that the team has handed out a lot in their entry-level pacts in recent years.
Kotkaniemi was the Habs’ top pick in last week’s NHL Entry Draft, selected third overall out of Assat of the Finnish SM-liiga. Although he has two years remaining on that contract in Finland, Montreal can supercede that deal since he was a first-rounder.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that the Habs are keeping him with the big club, however. They can still loan him back to Finland or, if they prefer, send him to Laval; as he wasn’t drafted out of the CHL, he is eligible to play in the AHL right away. If he doesn’t plan in ten NHL games next season, his contract will slide a year.