Canadiens' RFA Jesperi Kotkaniemi Tendered Offer Sheet by Hurricanes

Adam WellsAugust 28, 2021

MONTREAL, QC - JULY 02: Montreal Canadiens center Jesperi Kotkaniemi (15) skates in control with the pcuk during the NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Final game 3 between the Tampa Bay Lightning versus the Montreal Canadiens on July 02, 2021, at Bell Centre in Montreal, QC (Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Restricted free agent Jesperi Kotkaniemi has agreed to an offer sheet with the Carolina Hurricanes, the team announced Saturday. 

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

The Montreal Canadiens will have seven days to decide if they want to match Carolina's offer. 

Kotkaniemi has spent the past three seasons with the Canadiens. He was originally selected third overall in the 2018 NHL draft by the team. 

Montreal announced on July 26 that Kotkaniemi was among six players who received a qualifying offer. 

Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell said in a statement released about Kotkaniemi's offer sheet that the 21-year-old "wants to come to Carolina."

"He sees the core we've built here, and he wants to be a part of that," Waddell added. "We're proud, but there's still a waiting period. When you make an offer like that, we saw a vulnerable position."

There's no indication at this point about what the Canadiens will do. The club will receive a first- and third-round draft pick from Carolina in 2022 as compensation if they decide not to match Kotkaniemi's offer. 

Kotkaniemi has scored 62 points in 171 regular-season games in three seasons. The Finnish center had five goals and three assists in 19 playoff games to help the Canadiens reach the 2021 Stanley Cup Final. 

The Hurricanes won their first division title last season since the 2005-06 season. They lost in the second round of the playoffs to the Tampa Bay Lightning.