Opinion: Should Jesperi Kotkaniemi Play in the NHL This Year?

At the 2018 NHL draft, many analysts believe that Jesperi Kotkaniemi would be at least one, maybe even two years away from being "NHL ready." However, at the tail end of the preseason, many argue he's already a capable centre in the league, and he should stay with Montreal. So... where should he go? Let's take a look.
Just to clear something up for those of you who aren't aware. Kotkaniemi told the media earlier that he would either play for the Canadiens this season, or go to Finland. The AHL is out of the question. So let's look at why he should play in the NHL, and then why he should play in Finland.

Case for the NHL
-Nothing equates to NHL experience except for... NHL experience. If he plays in the NHL, he gets more accustomed to the north american speed and style of play.
-The Canadiens have a large hole at the centre position. With their centres consisting of Philip Danault, Tomas Plekanec, Mathew Peca, Jacob De La Rose, and Max Domi, they don't have a real "top six centre" on their roster. If Kotkaniemi were to play in the NHL, he'd be getting tons of opportunities to play top minutes and gain a ton of experience.
-More selfish reason, he'd be getting 3.425 million dollars this season including performance bonuses. In contrast, the highest paid player in the SM-Liiga (where Kotkaniemi played for Assat) was being paid 438,000$.

Case for the SM-Liiga
-While the top line experience could really benefit Kotkaniemi, it could just as likely ruin him if he's not ready for 15-20 minutes a game over a full season.
-His confidence level will likely plummet this year, if the Canadiens are as bad as they're projected to be.
-Should Kotkaniemi's contract be held back by 1 year, they'd free up tons of cap space from shedding Andrew Shaw and Karl Alzner's contracts (~8.5 million or so). However, one could argue that they'll have lost everyone on their current roster except for Shea Weber and Carey Price.
-Due to the lower skill level in comparison to the NHL, the Liiga could be easier for Kotkaniemi to take a full-time centre role before coming to Montreal.

While there may be a higher number of benefits to Kotkaniemi playing in Finland, I think the benefits to the NHL are greater than those of the Liiga. Montreal will still be able to afford him once his contract expires in a few years, have space available for him at centre (if they don't, they'll make room), and there's a higher financial incentive for Kotkaniemi to want to play in the NHL.

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