The Nashville Predators have signed forward Markus Nurmi to an entry-level contract. PuckPedia reports that the deal will carry an NHL cap hit of $842.5K. Originally selected by the Ottawa Senators in 2016, Nurmi never signed with the team and became an unrestricted free agent when his draft rights expired in 2020. Because of his age, he will be limited to a one-year contract.
Drafted 163rd overall back then, Nurmi is a very interesting prospect six years later. The offense has finally emerged for the 6’4″ forward, and he scored 20 goals and 39 points in 56 games for TPS in the top Finnish league this season. Even that production was surpassed by his playoff output when he racked up 19 points in 18 games, leading the entire league.
Given that he is still just 23 (24 in June), and has a perfect blend of size, skill, and offensive production, it’s no surprise that he’s found an opportunity in North America. Whether he can keep up with the speed and physicality of the NHL game and become more than just a depth option is another story entirely, and a challenge that many players have failed at over the years.
At worst though, this is a waste of a contract slot for a year, and the Predators move on after it expires. At best, they’ve added an NHL option off the free agent market that will still be a restricted free agent and under team control next summer.