( Photo Credit: Providence Bruins / Flickr )

By: Mark Allred | Follow me on Twitter @BlackAndGold277

This afternoon the National Hockey League Boston Bruins announced that the team had signed forward Joona Koppanen to a one-year, two-way contract. The deal is worth a reported $750,000 at the NHL level and $80,000 with the B’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Providence Bruins.

The 6′-5″ 192-pound Tampere, Finland native, was selected in the fifth round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft held at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York. Koppanen signed his entry-level contract in April of 2017 and made his way to North America for the first time after his Ilves commitment overseas in the Finnish Liiga league was over during the 2017-18 season.

Since Joonas’ arrival to the United States to play professional hockey, the 24-year-old has appeared in 181 career AHL games posting 27-31-58 numbers. In the 2021-22 AHL season, Koppanen set AHL career highs as he continues to develop with the NHL Bruins top minor-pro affiliate, where he contributed 11-19-30 totals in 62 games.

Koppanen isn’t going to break scoring records in the American League, but he provides grit and size with a never back down attitude when it comes to sticking up for a fellow teammate. He’s also a valued asset along the boards and around the opposing net, creating havoc around the crease. Joona does possess a decent skill set offensively and is an influential player on the penalty kill. This is another solid signing as you can never have enough depth in the system, and a versatile forward like him could be used at the NHL level fourth line in case of an emergency filing a roster spot.