Ottawa Senators Sign European Free Agent Defenseman

The Ottawa Senators have made an addition to their roster with the signing of Finnish defenseman Nikolas Matinpalo to a one-year, entry-level contract.

The 24-year-old defenseman hails from Espoo, Finland and had an impressive season with Assat Pori in the Finnish Elite League.

Matinpalo's skills were on full display as he made a significant impact on both ends of the ice. Offensively, he recorded seven goals and nine assists, totaling 16 points in 51 games during the 2022-23 season. He continued his strong performance in the playoffs, contributing four assists in eight games.

His exceptional play didn't go unnoticed, as Matinpalo earned the opportunity to represent Finland at the 2023 IIHF World Championship.

Senators general manager Pierre Dorion expressed his satisfaction with the signing, emphasizing Matinpalo's potential to strengthen the team's defensive depth.

Dorion praised the defenseman's physical attributes, including his size, reach, and an active stick, which make him a reliable defender. Matinpalo's adept puck-moving skills and competitive nature were also highlighted, adding to his value as an asset for the team.

As Matinpalo prepares to make his professional debut in North America, there is a possibility that he will start the 2023-24 season in the AHL, allowing him to gain valuable experience and continue his development before potentially making his way to the NHL.

Photo Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports