Joonas Nättinen leaves Hamilton, joins MODO

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The Swedish Hockey League’s MODO Hockey announced the signing of Joonas Nättinen to a one-year contract this morning. Nättinen will depart the Hamilton Bulldogs after three seasons. Nättinen played just one game in the NHL during his time in North America, logging just 1:45 of ice time. 

Nättinen was drafted in third round, 65th overall, in 2009. He played two more years in Finland’s Liiga following his draft, appearing in 34 games, scoring no goals. Nättinen also represented Finland twice at the WJC, where he played quite well. 

Nättinen’s AHL rookie year was quite successful. He had a strong second half and was named the AHL Player of the Week. Injuries and limited ice time derailed his sophomore year. Nättinen was limited to just 24 games, grabbing just nine points. 

This past season, Nättinen spent the majority of the season on the fourth line. Nättinen grabbed 15 points in 69 games, failing to improve on his rookie season totals. Nättinen was given the occasional chance in the top-six, playing with Gabriel Dumont and Mike Blunden, but was unable to produce. Over the course of the season, Nättinen showed a high level of defensive acumen and emerged as the team’s best penalty killer. However, Nättinen continued to demonstrate that he lacks the natural offensive awareness to be a solid offensive contributor at this level. He was often a black hole offensively and was extremely reluctant to shoot. Despite his lack of offensive smarts, he does have good tools. Nättinen has solid hands, a good frame, and gets around the ice quite well. Unfortunately, he just didn’t put it together in Hamilton. 

There’s still a chance that Nättinen returns to North America; however, at this point it appears he will become one of the most obscure players in Canadiens history. 

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