By Ty Anderson, 985TheSportsHub.com
The Bruins made it official Wednesday, signing defenseman Urho Vaakanainen to a three-year entry-level contract with an annual cap hit of $925,000 plus bonuses.
The 2017 first-round pick (18th overall) of the Bruins, Vaakanainen spent last season with SaiPa of the Finnish Liiga, with four goals and 11 points, as well as the team’s best plus/minus (plus-eight), in 43 games. The 19-year-old Vaakanainen competed in nine playoff games with SaiPa.
Vaakanainen skated in 41 regular-season games for Liiga’s JYP during his draft year, with two goals and four assists for six points. He played in 14 playoff games that season, too, picking up three assists and a plus-one rating in 14 games. The 6-foot-1 defender began his Liiga career with the Espoo Blues in 2015 when he scored one goal and six points in 25 games.
The left-shot defender also appeared in five games for Team Finland in the 2018 World Junior Championship, where he recorded an assist and posted a plus-three rating.
Not considered the flashiest defenseman nor a consistent point-producer, Vaakanainen is believed to be capable of logging hard minutes against the opposition’s top forwards.
Vaakanainen will be at Boston’s rookie development camp June 23-26 at Warrior Ice Arena.
Ty Anderson is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Ty? Follow him on Twitter @_TyAnderson.