Don Sweeney made his first move as Boston’s GM on Thursday, signing veteran Finnish forward Joonas Kemppainen to a one-year, two-way deal worth $700,000 at the NHL level.
Kemppainen, 27, had 11 goals and 32 points for Karpat of the Finnish league this year, then blew up in the playoffs by scoring 24 points in 19 games, helping his team win the championship. Kemppainen’s Karpat teammate, Joonas Donskoi, captured the Jarri Kurri Trophy as playoff MVP and was recently signed by San Jose.
Also like Donskoi, Kemppainen recently represented Finland at the World Hockey Championships and fared well, finishing third on the team in goals (three), second in assists (six) and second in points (nine) in eight games played.
At 6-foot-2, 213 pounds, Kemppainen will provide some good size to a Boston team looking to get back to its “Big Bad Bruins” personality; upon being presented as the club’s new GM, Sweeney promised the B’s would get back the “aggressiveness” he felt they lost in recent seasons.