Winnipeg Jets sign Patrik Laine to entry-level contract

BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 24: Patrik Laine celebrates after being selected second overall by the Winnipeg Jets during round one of the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24, 2016 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Winnipeg Jets have signed young Finnish sniper Patrik Laine to an entry-level contract.

According to the Jets, the deal is worth an average annual value of $3.575 million which includes $2.65 million in bonuses. Laine’s deal carries a $925,000 NHL base salary for next season.

The Jets selected the 18-year-old Laine with the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft.

Laine, who played for Tappara in Finland last year, reportedly said the signing bonus on his deal will go to his parents.

Laine is the second of the first three picks of the 2016 NHL Draft to sign a contract. Pierre-Luc Dubois signed an entry-level contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets. Dubois was the third overall pick. Auston Matthews – who was selected first overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs has yet to sign.

Laine was considered the best pure goal scoring talent in the draft. In the World Junior Championships, he notched seven goals and 13 points in seven games to lead Finland to a gold medal.

In the World Championships he had seven goals and 12 points in 10 games played.

“Laine is an extremely skilled winger with size, speed, hockey sense and competitiveness. He is a natural scorer who possesses an NHL caliber shot. Laine is a tough competitor to play against and even harder to check, an offensive threat every time he is on the ice.” NHL Central Scouting Dan Marr said.

The Jets believe Laine can make an impact next season. Laine has already been picked for the Finnish World Cup team.

“I think a player like this, watching him play at the World Championships, he should be ready to play,” general manager Kevin Cheveldayoff told the Winnipeg Free Press after his team picked Laine.

“You watch him play and he does some very special things.”

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