Flames sign Juuso Valimaki to ELC

It’s been a long time coming, but it has finally happened. The Flames and 2017 first round pick Juuso Valimaki have put pen to paper on an entry-level contract.

Valimaki was the 16th overall pick at the most recent draft. The Tri-City defender scored 61 points in 60 WHL games last season, and also represented Finland at the World Juniors. He’s got hype behind him, and justifiably so.

Although the numbers have not been released yet, it is reasonable to expect that he is earning the rookie maximum of $925,000 with a healthy chunk of performance bonuses attached (somewhere around $400K-$425K is the norm for ELC contracts signed this offseason). As Valimaki is considered as an 18-year-old by the NHL’s CBA, this is a contract that can slide twice unless he plays 10 or more NHL games in a single season.

[UPDATE: Valimaki indeed carries a cap hit of $925,000, with bonuses up to $425,000, per CapFriendly.]

Valimaki will likely remain with the Americans this upcoming season, and will probably again make another appearance at the World Juniors. He is eligible to play in the AHL in 2018-19.