Today the Arizona Coyotes announced the extension of defenseman Juuso Välimäki.
Per Elliotte Friedman, the contract will be for $1 million.
The Coyotes claimed the 24-year-old blueliner off waivers on October 9th after the Calgary Flames attempted to re-assign him to the AHL. Since then, he has been a solid part of the Coyotes’ defensive corps, playing in 43 of the Coyotes’ 47 games, mostly with another young defenseman J.J. Moser.
Välimäki has already registered a career-high 12 points and is just one goal away from setting a new career-high in goals scored.
Players like Välimäki are going to be critical for the Coyotes, especially as the season comes to an end. If the Coyotes move on from Jakob Chychrun and Shayne Gostisbehere in the next few seasons, which is highly likely, Välimäki will have a chance to really show what he can do.
A one-year deal gives the Coyotes flexibility and should prove to be a motivating factor for Välimäki. Not bad for a player the Coyotes got for free.