Montreal Canadiens Sign Sami Niku

Sami Niku

The Montreal Canadiens have signed defencemen Sami Niku to a one-year contract. The deal is a two-way contract, which will see Niku earn $750,000 at the NHL level and $425,000 at the AHL level, with a guaranteed salary of $475,000. The 24-year-old defencemen will join the Canadiens franchise after spending four seasons with the Winnipeg Jets organization.

Canadiens Sign Sami Niku

After spending parts of the past four seasons with the Jets, Niku was bought out of the final year of a two-year deal earlier this week.
A former 7th round pick by Winnipeg in the 2015 NHL draft, Niku has split his career playing for both the Winnipeg Jets and their AHL affiliate team, the Manitoba Moose. Niku has shown a lot of potential in the AHL, winning the league’s top defencemen award and being named to the AHL’s first all-star team during the 2017-18 season. However, he has yet to produce in the NHL with just 10 points in 54 games for the Jets. Niku is set to start the season in the AHL, but could make the jump to the NHL anytime.
Niku’s one-year deal will keep his status as a restricted free agent after the contract expires. This gives him a chance to prove himself before signing a long-term deal. It also gives the Canadiens more time to asses his potential and his future within the organization. Then they could sign him to a longer contract.

What To Expect

The signing of Sami Niku to an inexpensive one-year, two-way deal is a very smart move by general manager Marc Bergevin. With injuries already popping up for the team, they will need some insurance on their back-end down the road. Niku in a capable NHL defencemen who will be able to fill in if needed for the Canadiens. Montreal expects to be in a fight for a wild card spot this season in the stacked Atlantic Division. The addition of Niku provides more depth for the end of season. Even if Niku doesn’t get into too many games at the NHL level, he will certainly continue to develop at the AHL level. He could intrigue the Canadiens to sign him to a long-term deal in the future.

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