The 22-year-old just recently signed his entry-level deal back at the end of April after spending the past three seasons in Finland, the most recent of which came with Assat where he had a goal and six assists along with 42 PIMS in 55 games. Edmonton drafted him in the third round in 2016 (63rd overall) out of Saginaw of the OHL but he only spent one more year there before heading back home. That did allow Edmonton to hold his draft rights longer at least as instead of having them for two years, they had them for four and used all of them to determine if he was worth signing.
With the AHL announcing earlier this week that they have changed their target start date for the 2020-21 season to December 1st, there will likely be a steady stream of these moves in the coming days. Niemelainen isn’t expected to contend for a roster spot with Edmonton for next season so this move allows him to get some development time in before what will likely wind up being a truncated AHL season.