Another of Montreal’s international minor leaguers is heading back overseas as it was announced on Tuesday that defenceman Otto Leskinen has signed a two-year deal with Jokerit of the KHL.
The 24-year-old signed with the Habs as an undrafted free agent back in 2019 and spent most of the past two years with Laval. This past season, he was much more involved offensively, notching 17 points (1-16-17) in 33 games to lead all Rocket defenders in points.
Leskinen also managed to see NHL action over each of his two seasons in North America, suiting up in six games – five in 2019-20 and one this year. Unfortunately, while he is known for being a strong puck-mover, he didn’t play particularly well in those contests which made him someone that was on the bubble in terms of whether or not they’d bring him back.
That question has now been answered with this contract although the Canadiens can still tender him a qualifying offer to retain his RFA rights through the 2023-24 campaign.
Leskinen has become the second Laval player to head back overseas this spring as goaltender Vasili Demchenko signed back in the KHL last month.