After having a mutual interest, reports surfaced that the Sabres had come to terms with Finnish forward Arttu Ruotsalainen a few days ago. Earlier this morning, the team made it official, announcing they had signed the free agent forward to a three-year entry-level contract, who has played for the last four years in the Liiga in Finland, having played for both Ässät and Ilves.
We have signed forward Arttu Ruotsalainen to a three-year, entry-level contract.
— Buffalo Sabres (@BuffaloSabres) May 8, 2019
For the last two seasons, Ruotsalainen has played for Ilves, where he has played 119 games played for Ilves. During that time, the 5’8″ center scored 30 goals for a total of 62 points, which included 21 goals and earned 42 total in 59 games played during the 2018-19 season. He finished the season ninth in the league in goals and was one of 12 players to eclipse the 20-goal mark. Since he has signed an entry-level contract and will have to adjust to playing the North American game before making the jump.
To clarify on Ruotsalainen's contract: If he does not make the #Sabres roster from Day 1 this year, he will go back to Ilves for the 2019-20 season. Once his season is over in Finland, he can be assigned to the #Amerks and play out the remainder of the season in the AHL
— Brayton J. Wilson (@BJWilsonWGR) May 8, 2019
However, according to the details in his contract, he will play for Ilves once again next season if Ruotsalainen does not make the team out of camp unless he is given permission by his team in Finland to join the Amerks. However, once the Liiga’s season concludes, he can be assigned to Rochester, which would help him adjust to playing the North American game, and at the moment, is the best situation for both himself and the organization in order to help ensure long-term success for both sides.