Montreal Canadiens Lose Another Player Who Heads Overseas

After trying his hand in North America once again this past season, 26-year-old Finnish defenseman Otto Leskinen is headed back to his homeland for the 2023-24 season. He'll rejoin the champion Tappara squad, who revealed the news on their live YouTube stream on Wednesday. 

Leskinen becomes the second player from the Montreal Canadiens system, and the 10th player overall coming off an NHL contract this spring to head overseas for next season. 

Leskinen, 26, is a left-handed shooting D-man who was with the Canadiens organization for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons before heading back to Finland for a year, and then once again trying his hand with the Habs this past season. 

He only got into 24 games this season for the Canadiens' affiliate the Laval Rocket of the AHL before suffering an injury that led to season-ending hip surgery. 

He'll now return, on a two-year contract, to the same Finnish squad, Tappara, that he won a Liiga championship with in 2021-22. That year, he recorded 18 points in 25 games. Tappara will be going for its third straight title in the coming season. 

 Photo: David Kirouac-USA TODAY Sports