Riikola spent four years in the Penguins organization but spent most of his time in the AHL for the first time this year. He signed with the team in 2018 as a free agent after a six-year stint in the Finnish Liiga with KalPa. However, Riikola had played just seven NHL games over the past two seasons combined, playing just two in 2020-21 while spending the entire season on the taxi squad.
Over the past four NHL seasons, the 28-year-old Riikola played 80 games, tallying three goals, 10 assists and 13 points. While a reasonable option to slide into the lineup in case of injury, at his age, Riikola will likely opt to stay in Europe long-term, playing out his prime years in a more sizeable role.