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Cougars sign import draft selection

The Prince George Cougars have signed their import draft pick, Finnish forward Jonni Karkkainen, to a standard Western Hockey League contract. Karkkainen was the Cougars' lone selection, 12th overall, in the 2020 Canadian Hockey League import draft.
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The Prince George Cougars have signed their import draft pick, Finnish forward Jonni Karkkainen, to a standard Western Hockey League contract.

Karkkainen was the Cougars' lone selection, 12th overall, in the 2020 Canadian Hockey League import draft.

"We're happy to have Jonni committed to our team for next season. We look forward to integrating him into our group," said Cougars' general manager and head coach Mark Lamb.

Karkkainen hails from Kerava, Finland and played last season (2019-20) with HIFK U-18 in the SM-sarja as an underage player.

The 17-year-old registered 18 points (9g-9a) in 29 games and served as an Alternate Captain on his team. The 6'1", 180-pound forward also played three games with Finland's U-17 national team.

Two seasons ago (2018-19) Karkkainen was the Captain of HIFK's U-16 team and amassed 52 points (27g-25a) in 43 games.

As a 15-year-old he had two points (1g-1a) in six games with HIFK's U-18 squad. Karkkainen also had four points (0g-4a) in 14 games with Finland's U-16 team.

Karkkainen is the second Finn taken by the Cougars in the CHL import draft. The team drafted Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo fifth overall in 2012.

Karkkainen is the fifth consecutive forward chosen by the team.