Nashville Predators sign Juuso Puustinen to two-year, two-way contract

This, from the Preds:

Nashville Predators President of Hockey Operations/General Manager David Poile announced today that the club has signed free-agent right wing Juuso Puustinen (YUH-soh POOS-tih-nehn) to a two-year, two-way contract worth $550,000 on the NHL level and $60,000 on the AHL level in both 2011-12 and 2012-13.

            Puustinen, 23 (4/5/88), spent the 2010-11 campaign with HPK of the Finnish Elite League (SM-Liiga), ranking fourth in the league in goals (26), and tied for 20th in points (38). Prior to joining HPK, the 6-2, 187-pound forward played two seasons with the Espoo Blues from 2008-10, leading all SM-Liiga rookies in points (14g-20a-34pts) and assists in 2008-09. The Kuopio, Finland native also spent two seasons with the Kamloops Blazers of the Western Hockey League after being selected by Calgary in the fifth round (149th overall) of the 2006 Entry Draft, putting up 124 points (59g-65a) in 124 games from 2006-08.

            Puustinen has represented in Finland in several international tournaments as well, with the most recent being the 2010 European Hockey Tour (2g-0a-2pts., 6gp) and the most notable being in 2006 when he earned a silver medal at the Under-18 World Championships, and in 2008 when he was named one of the nation's top three players at the World Junior Championships.

Let's just hope he's not the next Ben Eaves Linus Klasen, right? I know the Preds like to keep an eye on the Finnish Elite League, so we'll have to see if this guy can help out the Admirals this fall.

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