Canadiens Don’t Match Hurricanes’ Offersheet To Jesperi Kotkaniemi, Acquire Christian Dvorak From Coyotes

Photo: NHL.com

The Montreal Canadiens did not match the Carolina Hurricanes’ one-year, $6.1 million offersheet to restricted free agent center Jesperi Kotkaniemi by Saturday’s 5:30 PM ET deadline to do so and acquired a first-round pick and third, both in the 2022 NHL Draft, as compensation. The Canadiens then dealt the better of the Hurricanes’ or their own first-round pick next summer and a 2024 second-round pick to the Arizona Coyotes for center Christian Dvorak.

Kotkaniemi, 21, earned five goals and 20 points in 56 regular-season games last season before recording five goals and eight points in 19 Stanley Cup Playoff games on the Canadiens’ run to the 2021 Stanley Cup Final, where they fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning in five games.

In 171 career NHL games, all with the Canadiens, Kotkaniemi (the third overall pick in the 2018 NHL Draft) has earned 22 goals and 62 points, half of those goals and more than half of those points (34) coming in his rookie year in 2018-19.

The Hurricanes upgrade their third-line center, but at an expensive price, after finishing 11th in the NHL with an average of 3.13 goals-per-game and 14th with a 20% power-play efficiency. Kotkaniemi averaged 14:48 per game last season, including 1:54 on the power play.

The Hurricanes, whose top two forwards (Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen) are Finnish like Kotkaniemi, are currently $1,023,618 over the NHL salary cap.

This is the first successful offersheet since July 26, 2007, when the Edmonton Oilers signed Anaheim Ducks restricted free agent Dustin Penner.

Dvorak earned 17 goals and 31 points in 56 games last season and has 67 goals and 146 points in 302 career NHL games, all with the Coyotes. The best season of his career came in 2019-20, when he set career-highs in goals (18) and points (38) in 70 games.

 

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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