Habs’ Jesperi Kotkaniemi to start season in Montreal

Updated: September 29, 2018 at 3:04 pm by Brady Trettenero

Montreal’s third overall pick in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft has earned his spot with the big club.

The 18-year-old Finnish forward was dynamic in training camp, recording a goal and two assists in five preseason games.

“It’s good news for him and it’s good news for us. We’ve been very impressed,” Julien said at practice Saturday.

Here’s his scouting report courtesy of Elite Prospects:

A smart forward with a dangerous shot, Kotkaniemi possesses a high hockey IQ and determination with the skills to back it up. Positions himself well and often seems to be a step ahead of plays. Stickhandling and creativity allow him to split professional defences as a teenager. Decent size and frame, yet a very capable skater. (Matias Strozyk, 2017)

Kotkaniemi will have nine regular-season games to prove he belongs with the Habs before the first year of his entry-level contract kicks in.

Montreal kicks off the 2018-19 NHL regular season on Wednesday in Toronto against the Maple Leafs.