Both Stanley Cup Final teams have made a minor signing today, as teams start to get their roster in order for the upcoming offseason. According to CapFriendly, the Nashville Predators have signed Joonas Lyytinen to a two-year entry-level contract, while the Pittsburgh Penguins have inked Filip Gustavsson to a three-year ELC.
Lyytinen’s deal is worth $740K per season, but there is still a long way to go before he ever sees an NHL ice surface. Selected in the fifth round (132nd overall) Lyytinen broke out this year in his native Finland, scoring 24 points in 54 games. Though his two-way play is commendable in the European league, he’ll be hard-pressed to make an impact at the NHL level without significantly increasing his size.
Listed sometimes as low as 150-lbs, but more likely sitting somewhere above that, Lyytinen is still too small for the league at this time. If he can continue to fill out, and use his excellent skating ability to its full potential, perhaps the Predators have another mid-round steal on their hands. He’ll likely come over from Europe next season to suit up for the Milwaukee Admirals.
The Penguins on the other hand will pay Gustavsson $776K per season on his deal should he play in the NHL, and the second-round pick from last summer has a chance at some point. An incredibly athletic goaltender, Gustavsson put up solid numbers in both the Swedish junior league and the SHL this year. Though he’s not ready to step in as the backup to Matt Murray just yet, he does have a chance to crack the NHL in a couple of years when his play starts to adjust to the North American game. He’ll stay in Sweden for the 2017-18 season, after which this contract will kick in.