Courtesy of Point Park University

Penguins sign Finnish championship goalie


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The Penguins signed 22-year-old Finnish goaltender Emil Larmi to a two-year entry-level contract, Jim Rutherford announced Sunday.

The two-way deal carries an average annual value of $700,000 at the NHL level. Larmi will not require waivers in 2019-20.

[caption id="attachment_836393" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Emil Larmi signs his entry-level deal. -- EMIL LARMI / TWITTER[/caption]

"Hard work has paid off, and now I'm even closer to fulfilling my childhood dream with my favorite team growing up," Larmi said on Twitter. "I've been lucky to be part of a great organization and teams over the past couple years, who have given me the amazing environments to develop as a player and as a person. Getting an NHL contract is a great achievement, but I believe my biggest achievements are still ahead of me. None of this would have been possible without the people I've been able to work with. Thank you, Penguins, for giving me this opportunity. I'll see you in a couple weeks."

Larmi has played with HPK in the top Finnish men's league the past three seasons, recording a 50-44-29 record, 2.07 goals-against average, .931 save percentage, and 15 shutouts. He earned a 1.94 goals-against average (third-best in the league) and a .909 save percentage in 2018-19. His four shutouts were the third-most in the league.

Larmi, 6-feet and 183 pounds, faced some pretty elite talent in the Finnish Liiga. His Twitter bio is simply, "Kaapo Kakko scored on me" in Finnish.

Larmi and HPK won the 2019 Liiga championship, along with fellow Penguins prospect Niclas Almari.

[caption id="attachment_836330" align="aligncenter" width="640"] Niclas Almari and Emil Larmi with the Liiga championship trophy. -- EMIL LARMI / INSTAGRAM[/caption]

Larmi played in all 18 playoff games for HPK, posting a 12-6 record, along with a 1.72 goals-against average and a .932 save percentage. He recorded two shutouts in the finals.

Penguins goaltending development coach Andy Chiodo has scouted Larmi "extensively" throughout the year.

"Emil is coming off of a fantastic playoff run with HPK, and has proved himself to be one of the best goaltenders in Liiga," said Andy Chiodo. "He's an athletic and mobile goaltender that reads the game well and is highly competitive. We are excited for Emil to join our organization as he transitions to life and hockey in North America."

Larmi is the fifth goaltender the Penguins have under contract. Alex D'Orio and Larmi will be making their North American professional debuts in 2019-20. Tristan Jarry has one year remaining on his contract, but requires waivers beginning in 2019-20.

Larmi is the fourth Finn who will be in Wilkes-Barre/Scranton next season, along with Oula PalveKasper Bjorkqvist and Almari. Larmi and Palve also spent time together with HPK before Palve was traded to TPS.

Larmi and Almari are already pretty close from their time with HPK:

More to come.

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