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?
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.
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.
Oilers Finnish Scout Matti Virmanen pushed hard for Pakarinen who played for the Silver Medal winning Finns and their GM Jari Kurri at WHC
— Bob Stauffer (@Bob_Stauffer) June 16, 2014
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.
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