Edmonton Oilers sign Iiro Pakarinen

Jonathan Willis
June 16 2014 02:47AM

Pakarinen

The Oilers added a name to their 50-man list on Sunday, signing Finnish winger Iiro Pakarinen. Who is he, and what does he add to the group?

The Contract

CapGeek broke the news, and provided contract details at the same time. Pakarinen’s new contract is an entry level deal (i.e. a two-way deal) and comes at almost no dollars at the AHL level – he’ll earn just $70,000 per year there. If he makes it to the majors, the Oilers are on the hook for less than seven figures, as Pakarinen has a cap hit of $817,500 that could swell to $925,000 if he hits his bonuses.

In other words, it’s a no-risk deal for Edmonton.

The Player

Pakarinen was a seventh round draft pick of the Florida Panthers in 2011. He brings decent size (6’1”, 195 pounds according to his page in Finland’s top league; 6’1”, 205 pounds according to his NHL entry), he’s still relatively young (turns 23 in August) and he’s coming off something of a breakthrough season (20 goals and 30 points in 60 games).

He was a shot-generating machine last year, leading HIFK with 256 of them in 60 games and converting them to goals at a modest 7.8 percent clip despite significant power play time (nine of his 20 goals came on the man advantage). Of interest: he also scored a shorthanded goal this year, which fits with Elite Prospects’ scouting report on the player:

A large winger shooting from his right. An energetic player with good skating and a nice frame. Possesses a good sharp, wrist shot and is a solid finisher. A hard worker and versatile player who can also play as a defenceman.

The Background

Edmonton’s Finnish scouting has been getting some chances the last few years, and the results haven’t been anything special – Jesse Joensuu, Lennart Petrell, Antti Tyrvainen. The odds are decent that Pakarinen, whose numbers aren’t exceptional, won’t break the trend. But he does have some nice points and it isn’t costing the Oilers very much to find out.

RECENTLY BY JONATHAN WILLIS

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, Sportsnet, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 MessyEH
June 16 2014, 03:17AM
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Good depth move. The Oilers need more guys that are shooters.

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#2 BlazingSaitls
June 16 2014, 03:46AM
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As long as he doesnt bolt for the KHL after a year of OKC and a few NHL games. Heres to bucking that trend...

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#3 Supernova
June 16 2014, 06:52AM
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I am thinking the first international team OEG buys is in Finland.

All the ties they have to Finland and the gambles the like to take indicate this.

I am all for OEG owning a Euro team Oilers would have much better scouting with this.

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#4 HardBoiledOil
June 16 2014, 06:55AM
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meh. like the Finns mentioned above, doesn't appear to be anything more than a player for OKC. i guess our Finnish scout doesn't have much to work with there when it comes to finding NHL calibre players for the Oilers.

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#5 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
June 16 2014, 07:00AM
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What Finnish scouting?

Finns we pick become nothing.

Pakarinen? Pass.

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#6 Spydyr
June 16 2014, 07:19AM
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Young AHL player.Nothing more ,nothing less.

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#7 Serious Gord
June 16 2014, 07:50AM
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He does tAke up a roster spot doesn't he? If so then he isn't entirely "no risk"

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#8 K_Mart
June 16 2014, 07:51AM
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Nothing special, sounds like he's of similar ilk to Hendricks. Hitting, penalty killing, and modest offense. A 22 yr old Hendricks worth $900k of cap space is an upgrade if he is indeed as good as any of our 3-4 liners. NHLe is decent if it pans out and he's a legit 2-way guy. Odds are he doesn't last more than a year, but who knows, maybe he puts up 10g 10a at 11mins/night and can actually kill an NHL quality penalty.

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#9 Quicksilver ballet
June 16 2014, 08:23AM
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Wash, rinse and repeat.

Ben Scrivens own personal kryptonite.

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#10 madjam
June 16 2014, 08:36AM
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The next Esa Tikannen or Jarri Kurri ?

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#11 Quicksilver ballet
June 16 2014, 08:51AM
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#81 is available as far as jersey numbers go.

We should all be okay to just go ahead and order his jersey in time for the July rookie one week teaser session coming.

I'm so pumped by this signing...

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#12 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
June 16 2014, 09:00AM
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madjam wrote:

The next Esa Tikannen or Jarri Kurri ?

Nope.

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#13 Sevenseven
June 16 2014, 09:55AM
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Two year contract might be a little long, but whatever. The oilers really try to find hidden jems. If you make 5 moves like this or belov, and one becomes a nhl player, then its a success. Free agents may not come here, trades may not work out, but finally this orginization is really trying to get the development and scouting to build this team. If this guy doesnt pan out, still not a bad move. He does, then its great. Low downside to this move.

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#14 Guy Lafleur
June 16 2014, 09:56AM
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Low risk ..nothing to lose if he turns out to be a player great !!

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#15 nuge2nail
June 16 2014, 09:58AM
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Oiler Domination to Follow

MacT wants to add 4-5 players this off season.

2-3 via trade before free agency on July 1.

Should be an interesting couple weeks for the nation

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#16 Rama Lama
June 16 2014, 10:04AM
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I think I understand what Mac T is trying to do here........fill the farm team with as many good prospects as possible, and let the cream rise to the top.

Not a bad strategy in my mind.

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#17 ubermiguel
June 16 2014, 10:09AM
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Serious Gord wrote:

He does tAke up a roster spot doesn't he? If so then he isn't entirely "no risk"

I don't know why you're getting trashed for this comment. We were getting dangerously close to the 50 man limit last year. Some AHL level player taking a spot could limit MacT's ability to make a big move later in the year.

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#18 Rotten Ron
June 16 2014, 10:50AM
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K_Mart wrote:

Nothing special, sounds like he's of similar ilk to Hendricks. Hitting, penalty killing, and modest offense. A 22 yr old Hendricks worth $900k of cap space is an upgrade if he is indeed as good as any of our 3-4 liners. NHLe is decent if it pans out and he's a legit 2-way guy. Odds are he doesn't last more than a year, but who knows, maybe he puts up 10g 10a at 11mins/night and can actually kill an NHL quality penalty.

Havent seen a thing about him that mentions hitting and the only evidence ive seen about being a penalty killer is in this article mentioning one sh goal. As far as being able to play defense, The same was said about MPS and that was never proven. Petrell-like numbers in Finald don't point to any offense either. Looks like another non-desript player pulled out of Finland with managment hoping for an 80's style gem.

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#19 Zarny
June 16 2014, 11:12AM
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Depth signing; time will tell.

His talent analysis is that he "plays like a demon in tight spots, and his stick handling ability and skating agility compares favorably to the top young players in Finland."

Best case scenario Pakarinen is a useful 7-12 F when he hits his prime at 25-30 y/o.

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#20 Dog Train
June 16 2014, 11:51AM
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It's low-risk but we made plenty of these low-risk moves last summer and none of them really panned out. I'm not saying I hate the move, just that I am not holding my breath for this kid to make much of a difference.

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#21 K_Mart
June 16 2014, 12:29PM
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Rotten Ron wrote:

Havent seen a thing about him that mentions hitting and the only evidence ive seen about being a penalty killer is in this article mentioning one sh goal. As far as being able to play defense, The same was said about MPS and that was never proven. Petrell-like numbers in Finald don't point to any offense either. Looks like another non-desript player pulled out of Finland with managment hoping for an 80's style gem.

Please see scouting reports cited in lowetide's article at lowetide.ca

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#22 Tikkanese
June 16 2014, 01:08PM
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@ubermiguel

An AHL player taking a spot on the 50 man roster is not a risk at all. That's what that roster limit is for, to fill out both the NHL and AHL rosters. The guys playing in the ECHL, worse leagues or in limbo like Grebeshkov was for a chunk of last year are what hurt.

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#23 SlowTalker
June 16 2014, 01:26PM
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Spydyr wrote:

Young AHL player.Nothing more ,nothing less.

Matti Virmanen disagrees with you. Because he is an actual scout, and watched him play, I think I trust him more than you.

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#24 SlowTalker
June 16 2014, 01:29PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

#81 is available as far as jersey numbers go.

We should all be okay to just go ahead and order his jersey in time for the July rookie one week teaser session coming.

I'm so pumped by this signing...

Really I don't know if you are coming or going, but I like your enthusiasm.

We need to see more of this.

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#25 ubermiguel
June 16 2014, 02:01PM
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Tikkanese wrote:

An AHL player taking a spot on the 50 man roster is not a risk at all. That's what that roster limit is for, to fill out both the NHL and AHL rosters. The guys playing in the ECHL, worse leagues or in limbo like Grebeshkov was for a chunk of last year are what hurt.

I get that. To clarify, I'm not sure I'd use a two-way contract on a guy that's never played North American pro before. I'd hope a 1 year AHL deal would get him over here for a closer look.

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#26 TigerUnderGlass
June 16 2014, 03:01PM
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ubermiguel wrote:

I get that. To clarify, I'm not sure I'd use a two-way contract on a guy that's never played North American pro before. I'd hope a 1 year AHL deal would get him over here for a closer look.

Can you think of any European trained players that have come to NA for an AHL only deal? I don't know if they exist or not but I sort of doubt it.

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#27 Rotten Ron
June 16 2014, 03:02PM
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@K_Mart

One mention of physical play in the three reports. One was from Derek Zona whos judgement I would put right near the bottom of the barrel somewhere by Allan Mithchell. As for the Hockey Future scouting report it reads much like every other never was' report prior to playing pro. No mention of pk there either.

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#28 Johnnydapunk
June 16 2014, 08:28PM
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I love the fact that the Oil seem to always have at least one Finn on the team, even if it is a depth or fringe player, selfish me is always happy about that.

I don't know if this is a factor or not, but I don't think the transition from Finnish Hockey to North American hockey isn't as extreme as players from other European leagues. The style of play is a bit more North American and they play on a hybrid sized ice surface which is between the width of IIHF ice and NHL ice.

If he works out then great, if not ah well. Think it is worth the risk.

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#29 Joy S. Lee
June 21 2014, 07:39AM
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Hey, you know all you guys trashing this move - for no other reason whatsoever other than to bitch like a flock of hens, I might add - did you watch the f'ing clips? This guy will shoot from anywhere, and he's got a pretty wicked wrister. He's 23, can skate, has size, and is willing to shoot. You dolts don't even want to give him a chance. Check out that clip where he comes off the back wall and turns and shoots. That's one hell of a shot, and one hell of an instinct for the timing he used to do it. I'd say he's a prospect. And maybe a good one. So shut the F up. Whiners!

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#30 Joy S. Lee
June 21 2014, 07:46AM
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Further to my last comment, that shot I was describing? Think about it this way... how many guys have you seen make THAT shot with that kind of timing per when to shoot; notice how quickly he recognized that the opportunity to do so even existed... then put it precisely the only spot available... and think about how many guys you see playing make that kind of decision/shot in the NHL today. Lots? Some? A few? Like I said, looks like a prospect, to me, and maybe one that could play all the way up and down the lineup. But, instead, let me think of some clever way of saying this will be another Oilers crash-and-burn scenario, and keep this fun momentum going on how the Oilers suck. Nah, me, I think I'm just going to watch this kid develop with some interest. Because shooters who can play are a very valuable commodity in today's game, whether you agree with me or not.

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#31 Joy S. Lee
June 21 2014, 07:47AM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

Nope.

How do you know this?

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