Denver-bound? Avs sign 10th overall pick Rantanen


One of the most NHL-ready prospects from this year’s draft has signed on dotted line.

Mikko Rantanen, taken 10th overall by Colorado, inked his three-year, entry-level deal on Monday, the club announced.

“Mikko is a versatile forward who brings size, skill and a high compete level,” Avs GM Joe Sakic said in a release. “We saw him at our development camp last week and are now eager to see how he does at our training camp in September.”

Rantanen, 18, was the top-rated European prospect in this year’s draft thanks in large part to his size — 6-foot-4, 211 pounds — and how well he played at the professional level in Finland. Rantanen scored 28 points in 56 games for SM-liiga outfit TPS Turku this season, serving as an alternate captain even though he only turned 18 in October.

As such, the focus now turns to what he can do in Denver.

While Colorado has decent depth up front, the team has never been shy about putting young draftees straight to the NHL — Matt Duchene, Gabriel Landeskog and Nathan MacKinnon all made the team coming out of their first training camps.

Prior to getting picked by Colorado, Rantanen told reporters he was ready to play in the NHL next season.