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Jesperi Kotkaniemi has signed an offer sheet from the Carolina Hurricanes

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The centreman has a one-year, $6.1-million deal for the 2021-22 season.

NHL: JUL 02 Stanley Cup Playoffs Final - Lightning at Canadiens Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A year after the Montreal Canadiens signed Sebastian Aho of the Carolina Hurricanes to an offer sheet, the ‘Canes have retaliated in kind, tendering an offer sheet to Montreal Canadiens Jesperi Kotkaniemi, which he has signed.

According to Elliotte Friedman, the offer sheet is a one-year contract for 6.1 million. However, the key thing is that Kotkaniemi will have to be qualified at that number next season, pending an extension.

Kotkaniemi was drafted third overall in the 2018 NHL Draft, in the 2020-21 season he was part of the Canadiens team that went to the Stanley Cup Final, scoring eight points (5G, 3A) in the 19 games of the post-season. The Finnish centre had 20 points (5G, 15A) in the 56-game-long regular season.

Kotkaniemi’s development has been slow but steady, but he has fallen behind Nick Suzuki as the top centre prospect.

If Montreal decides not to match and allow him join the Hurricanes, the compensation would be Carolina’s first- and third-round picks in the 2022 NHL Draft.