Vegas Golden Knights defense prospect Arttu Kärki has signed an OHL Scholarship and Development Agreement with the Soo Greyhounds, bringing him to North America for the 2023-24 season. The Greyhounds selected Kärki with their first-round pick in the 2023 CHL Import Draft.
Kärki, 18, went off the board to Vegas with the final pick of the third round (96th overall) in this summer’s NHL Draft. A high-end offensive-minded defender in the Finnish junior circuit, Kärki confirms his move to North America just a day before OHL training camps begin.
Hailing from Viiala, Finland, the 6-foot-2, 176-pound defenseman recorded 13 goals and 26 assists for 39 points in 36 regular-season games with Tappara U20 of the U20 SM-sarja Finnish league. He led his team’s defensemen in goals and finished second in goals from defensemen in the entire league.
Vegas took Kärki around where most public scouts expected him to go. They haven’t signed him to an entry-level contract yet, and since he was drafted out of Finland (not the CHL), they have four years to sign him before letting his exclusive signing rights expire.
That said, Greyhounds general manager Kyle Raftis is quite high on Kärki and expects the transition to North American major junior hockey to be a positive thing for his development. “Arttu has all the tools of an elite defenseman,” Raftis said. “His size, skating ability, and high-end puck skills make him a threat all over the ice.”
The Greyhounds currently have three other NHL-drafted prospects expected to suit up for them next season: Detroit Red Wings defenseman Andrew Gibson, Vancouver Canucks defenseman Kirill Kudryavtsev and New York Rangers center Bryce McConnell-Barker.