The long wait is finally over.
The Buffalo Sabres announced Wednesday morning that they have come to terms with forward Arttu Ruotsalainen on a three-year, entry-level deal.
The Buffalo Sabres today announced the team has signed forward Arttu Ruotsalainen to a three-year, entry-level contract.https://t.co/okCx7bIXun— Sabres PR (@SabresPR) May 8, 2019
Ruotsalainen, 21, joins the Sabres organization after spending the last two seasons with Ilves of Liiga.
In 204 career Liiga games, Ruotsalainen scored 73 points (36 goals, 37 assists).
“Ilves didn’t have a very good team this but Ruotsalainen was their player both during the regular season and in the playoffs as well. It’s not really fair to expect a 21-year-old to carry a team in the Liiga, but that’s exactly what he did.
He played huge minutes and was in all situations. In addition to his team-leading offensive numbers, his Corsi numbers were some of the best in the league, and he was one of the best face off guys in the league as well.
He has always been a top player among his age group in Finland but go overlooked because of his size. This season he proved he wasn’t just a junior hockey star - he can be a great pro player as well.”
It is currently uncertain where Ruotsalainen will begin his North American hockey career but it should be noted that Jason Botterill continues to search worldwide for the best available talent that will, at the least, create organizational depth and competition.
Update (9:57 am):
With Routsalainen contract, if he doesn't make Sabres out of pre-season he can't go to Rochester. He would go back to Finland. Could join Amerks after his season in Finland is over— Howard WGR (@hsimon62) May 8, 2019
Update (10:35 am):
Ilves can give Arttu Ruotsalainen permission to play in Rochester if he does not make the Sabres' roster. If permission is not granted, Ruotsalainen can only join the Amerks after Ilves' season is complete.— Lance Lysowski (@LLysowski) May 8, 2019