The Oilers have extended Markus Niemeläinen for two years.
A third round selection from the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, Niemeläinen’s new deal is for two more years. It’s a two-way deal in 2022-23, it will turn into a one-way deal in 2023-24 Both years carry a cap hit of just over 760K. Year one’s breakdowns are 750K/300K, year two is one way at 775K.
It’s a perfect cap hit for a player who has a real shot at becoming an everyday roster player in a year’s time. Niemeläinen will be RFA at the conclusion of the two year deal in 2024.
Niemeläinen has already turned into a favourite among Oiler faithful due to his physical play on the blue line. At 6’6”, he’s a good combination of what you’d like from a defenceman: big, mobile, and able to transition quickly if the play changes.
It’s a solid signing for Ken Holland, who will no doubt try to squeeze some of those tiny cap hits onto the roster full time in 2022-23. Philip Broberg, Markus Niemeläinen, Vincent Desharnais and Dmitri Samorukov are all players who could push for a full time roster spot next season and beyond.