French d-man Auvitu reportedly drawing NHL interest


Given the many NHL teams that will be trying to upgrade their blue lines this summer, it’s no surprise that scouts are searching far and wide for help.

Take French defenseman Yohann Auvitu of HIFK Helsinki, currently representing France at the worlds. TSN’s Darren Dreger says there’s “some NHL interest” in him, while Finnish hockey writer Juha Hiitelä says he heard the same thing, that a “few” NHL teams are interested.

Auvitu, 26, was the recipient of the 2015-16 Pekka Rautakallio Trophy for the best defenseman in the Liiga — an award that’s previously gone to the likes of Sami Vatanen and Brian Rafalski.

Auvitu had six goals and 15 assists in 48 games, then six goals and seven assists in 18 playoff games.

Only three French-born players were in the NHL this season: Philadelphia’s Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Detroit’s Xavier Ouellet, and Dallas’ Antoine Roussel.

According to Hiitelä, Auvitu wants to go to the NHL. The KHL is Plan B.

Related: Blues sign promising Finnish goalie Ville Husso

Scroll Down For: