The Buffalo Sabres announced Thursday that the team has signed goaltender Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen to a three-year, entry-level contract.
The 19-year-old was drafted by the Sabres in 2017, with the 54th overall selection.
Luukkonen, 6’4”, 196 pounds, is a native of Espoo, Finland.
Such an huge honor to sign my first NHL contract with the Buffalo Sabres. I want to thank all the coaches, teammates and everyone I have worked with along the way. The biggest thanks goes to my family. I couldn’t have done it without you. So excited to be a Sabre. #Sabres pic.twitter.com/C1MbBE9QmX— Ukko-Pekka Luukkonen (@ukkopekkaluukko) June 15, 2018
He spent most of last season playing with LeKi, where he appeared in 24 games and put up a 2.92 GAA and .909 save percentage. Luukkonen also played for HPK Hameenlinna (1 game) and HPK’s U-20 team.
He also played in the 2018 World Junior Championships in Buffalo, suiting up for his native country. In five games, Luukkonen had a 3.13 GAA and .879 save percentage.
In addition to last year’s World Juniors, Luukkonen has competed several other times internationally for Finland.
Futureconsiderations.ca says Luukkonen’s “wide butterfly stance helps him cover the majority of the low net naturally,” noting he is “fluid in his movements and quick laterally in the crease.”
TSN’s Craig Button called the goaltending prospect a “big, ‘take up a lot of net’ goalie who has good legs and battles to stop the puck. Finds way to make saves.”
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.