Today, the Edmonton Oilers put on their Derek Zona caps and signed two free agents out of the SM-Liiga. The players in question are Lennart Petrell and Antti Tyrvainen. I'm always a fan of the Oilers trying to improve the depth in the organization, and both of these signings should do that. After the jump, I'll take a brief look at each player.
Lennart Petrell was signed to a one-year entry-level contract, which means he could end up spending the year in Oklahoma City, but the 6'3'' twenty-seven year-old likely has his sights set on a job with the big club. Petrell was actually drafted as an overager in 2004 by the Columbus Blue Jackets after a strong season in Finland's U20 league. Since then, he has played seven full seasons in the SM-Liiga, scoring 161 points in 350 career regular season games, but just finished his best offensive season in 2010-11 with 35 points in 56 regular season games as well as an impressive 12 points in 13 playoff games. Of some concern is the fact that Petrell had the worst regular season +/- on his team among players with at least thirty games played (he was even). The Oilers have him listed as a center, but the SM-Liiga website lists him as a left-winger, so I'll be optimistic and say that he's versatile. Unless the Oilers bring in some more help up the middle, I expect Petrell to compete with Colin Fraser, Anton Lander, Tanner House, and Chris VandeVelde for the fourth line center position this fall.
Antti Tyrvainen was signed to a two-year entry-level contract and is likely to spend the year in Oklahoma City, but you never know. At 22 years of age, Tyrvainen is still young enough to be considered a prospect, and the young winger boasts a very interesting player page. His 23 points in 52 games represent a decent offensive showing, especially considering that was good enough for fourth on the offensively inept HIFK (the team leader scored 33 points in 59 games). Tyrvainen's 186 penalty minutes, meanwhile, were good enough for tops in the league by a pretty hefty margin (Jere Karalahti was second with 147). Tyrvainen also happens to be 5'10'' and just under 200 lbs. Definitely an interesting player, and he could win a spot on the Oilers fourth line as an agitator.