Arizona has landed an intriguing player out of Russia: Swedish forward Mario Kempe, the older brother of L.A. prospect Adrian Kempe.
Mario, 28, has — per Swedish news outlet Aftonbladet — agreed to join the Coyotes after a three-year stint with KHL club Vityaz Podolsk. He had 14 goals and 34 points in 56 games this year.
Update: Arizona has confirmed the signing. It’s a one-year, two-way deal. Financial terms weren’t disclosed.
Kempe does have some experience in North America. He was Philly’s fifth-round pick at the 2007 draft and, following a couple of good seasons in the Quebec junior league, played a handful of games for the AHL Phantoms.
Kempe returned to his native Sweden after his minor-league stint, then played a few seasons in the SHL before jumping to Russia.
Some may remember Kempe from his role on the Swedish team at the 2008 World Juniors. He was part of the silver medal-winning team that featured a number of future NHLers, including the likes of Victor Hedman, Carl Hagelin, Patrik Berglund, Mikael Backlund and Magnus Paajarvi.