After releasing last Saturday the names of foreign players to whom it did not submit contract renewals for the future (Troy Josephs, Brett Connolly and Kris Bennett),Hockey Club Lugano today announced the signing on a contract valid for the next two seasons of 26-year-old Finnish center Arttu Ruotsalainen.
Born 29.10.1997 in Oulu in northern Finland, Ruotsalainen (175 cm. x 84 kg., "left") will bring his qualities as a fast, creative and talented forward to Lugano.
Growing up in the prestigious youth sector of Kärpät Oulu, Arttu participated with his country's national team in an U18 World Cup and an U20 World Cup, making his 18-year-old debut in the Liiga under the colors of Ässät Pori.
His excellent performance first with Ässät Pori and later with Ilves Tampere (0.54 points per game) attracted the attention of the Buffalo Sabres organization in 2020, which acquired his NHL rights.
Thus, between 2020 and 2022 Ruotsalainen played 35 games in the NHL (10 points) and 80 games in the AHL (76 points) with the Rochester Americans jersey.
Winner of a silver medal with four goals at the 2021 World Cup with Finland, Ruotsalainen then decided to return to Europe and continue his growth in National League where he was among Kloten's draggers last season. With an offensive haul of 42 points (18 goals, 24 assists) in 52 games, he joined the Top 20 in the regular season scorers' list.
Arttu is now motivated to take another step forward in his career by treading the ice at Cornèr Arena.
These are the words of Hnat Domenichelli, GM ofHockey Club Lugano:
"Arttu is a center who plays with great passion. He is young but has already shown that he has the skills of a solid foreigner for National League. We are very happy to have him on our team for the next two seasons."