With the Vegas Golden Knights up against the NHL salary cap, general manager Kelly McCrimmon has looked overseas to sign free agents on day one of NHL Free Agency. According to Elliotte Friedman, the Golden Knights are signing Finnish forward Sakari Manninen.
The 30-year-old scored the overtime game-winning goal that won Finland the gold medal in the 2022 IIHF World Championship which eliminated Zach Whitecloud, Nicolas Roy, Logan Thompson, and the rest of Team Canada.
— Mr Matthew CFB (@MrMatthewCFB) July 13, 2022
Manninen also helped Finland win the 2022 Olympic Gold Medal. In his last three seasons with Salavat Yulaev Ufa of the KHL, he has scored 115 points in 149 career games. His career high in the KHL is 52 points in 55 games.
Last season, he had 18 goals and 32 points in 38 KHL games while combining for 17 points in 16 games on the international stage.
He scored four goals and seven points in six games at the Olympics and six goals and 10 points in 10 games at the World Championship.
Manninen is a two-time gold medalist at the IIHF Worlds, a one-time Olympic gold medalist, and won a Liiga title with Oulu Karpat in 2014-15.
The Oulu native stands at 5-foot-8 and weighs 179 pounds, making him one of the shortest players in team history.
The Golden Knights are expected to make this signing, as well as the rumored Reilly Smith extension, official later on today.