San Jose Sharks Sign Finnish League Top Scorer Antti Suomela

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Antti Suomela
HERNING, DENMARK - MAY 06: Uvis Balinskis (L) of Latvia and Antti Suomela of Finland battle for the puck during the 2018 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship group stage game between Latvia and Finland at Jyske Bank Boxen on May 6, 2018 in Herning, Denmark. (Photo by Martin Rose/Getty Images)

The San Jose Sharks have signed JYP Jyväskylä’s star forward Antti Suomela to a one-year entry-level contract. This contract carries him through to the end of 2018-19 season.

Antti Suomela Signs With the Sharks

The 24-year old was recruited from another successful season with JYP in the Finnish professional league(Liiga).

Last season he scored 21 goals and 39 assists for 60 points. This had him tied for second in goals, and third in shots on goal (268) and only took three minor penalties all season. In 169 career games with Liiga, Suomela posted 56 goals and 75 assists for 131 points.

He also had one goal and two assists in six playoff games, helping JYP win the 2018 Champions Hockey League.

The young Fin was most recently a member of Team Finland at the World Championships in Denmark. He recorded one goal in four games.

Sharks General Manager Doug Wilson spoke about this exciting new prospect in a statement.

“Antti’s a very skilled center who has improved his development and production in each of his three seasons in Finland’s top league, we like his combination of skill, speed and defensive awareness and think his style of play fits with the way we play as a team.

“After leading the league in scoring, he had a number of teams interested in his services, and we are excited that he chose San Jose. We look forward to him joining our organization.”

What This Means for the Future.

The imposing forward was put on the Sharks’ radar by Shin Larsson. The same scout who brought the other Europian forwards Melker Karlsson and Joonas Donskoi of Finland to the Sharks attention.

Potentially, Suomela could fill a void next season with Eric Fehr, set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and Chris Tierney, a restricted free agent.

However, it is likely that Suomela may have a brief spell in the AHL to get familiar first. Either way, it’s an exciting signing for the Sharks, who need more production next season.

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