Sabres sign Oskari Laaksonen to 3-year entry-level contract

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              FILE - In this Jan. 5, 2019, file photo, Finland's Oskari Laaksonen jumps into the arms of Jesse Ylonen celebrating Ylonen's goal during the second period of the gold medal game at the world junior hockey tournament against the United States, in Vancouver, British Columbia. The Buffalo Sabres signed defenseman Oskari Laaksonen to a three-year entry-level contract on Monday, June 15, 2020. Laaksonen was Buffalo's third-round pick in the 2017 draft and spent the past two-plus seasons playing in Finland's Elite League. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The Buffalo Sabres signed defenseman Oskari Laaksonen to a three-year entry-level contract on Monday.

Laaksonen was Buffalo’s third-round pick in the 2017 draft and spent the past two-plus seasons playing in Finland’s Elite League.

The 20-year-old had five goals and 35 assists in 113 career games with Ilves Tampere. Laaksonen also played on Finland’s gold medal-winning junior national team in 2019.

“The work Oskari has put in to improve his game has paid off during his last two seasons,” Sabres general manager Jason Botterill said in a statement. “His success on the international stage and what he’s done as a 19- and 20-year-old playing in a professional league is impressive.”

The 6-foot-1, 181-pound Laaksonen is expected to spend time developing in the minors.