The Boston Bruins brought two way Finnish forward Joonas Kemppainen over from Europe for his first year of North American hockey in the summer of 2015 – but after just one season, it looks like he’s headed back to Europe after all.
Kemppainen has inked a one year deal with Sibir Novosibirsk of the KHL for the upcoming 2016-17 season, effectively ending his first stint in the NHL after just 44 regular season games played with Boston. The deal was announced in a press release on Saturday by the KHL club.
A native of Kajaani, Finland, the 28-year-old Kemppainen stands at 6 foot 2 and 223 lbs. Despite the size he brought into Boston’s system, though, a five point campaign through 44 games played at the NHL level – combined with an AHL stint midway through the season and some not-well-received healthy scratch placements by the Atlantic Division club for the forward – likely left both Boston and Kemppainen himself wishing things had gone better in his rookie season.
Sibir Novosibirsk finished second in the Chernyshev Division of the KHL for the 2015-16 season, falling in the second round of the postseason after going 36-15-3 through their regular season campaign. Adding Kemppainen for the upcoming season should be a good move for both the skater and the club, as they’ll likely look to build on what was accomplished during their most recent campaign.