The Columbus Blue Jackets General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen has announced that the club has signed defenseman Markus Nutivaara, the team’s ninth pick during the 2015 NHL Draft, to a two-year entry level contract.
As is club policy, terms were not disclosed.
Nutivaara, 21, was the 189th overall selection in last summer’s NHL Draft held at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.
This past season he scored six goals and 16 assists for 22 points with 14 penalty minutes and a +10 plus/minus rating in his 50 games played with Kärpät in Finland’s top professional league, Liiga. He ended the 2015-16 campaign ranked second among club defensemen in goals (tied), assists and points (tied), while adding 1-4-5 and was +5 in seven postseason contests.
The Oulu, Finland native made his Liiga debut with Kärpät during the 2014-15 season, in which he recorded two assists to go along with four penalty minutes and was +7 in 35 regular season games and helped the club capture the Liiga Championship with 1-5-6 in 16 playoff contests.
Earlier that season he also recorded two assists and two penalty minutes in two contests with Hokki in Mestis, Finland’s second-highest professional league and notched 2-6-8 and was +5 in seven games with Kärpät U20 (Jr. A. SM-liiga).
The 6-foot, 185-pound defenseman represented Finland at the 2014 IIHF World Junior Championships, notching one assists along with four penalty minutes and was +1 in three contests.