Vili Saarijarvi signs Entry-Level deal with Red Wings


Sunday, Jul. 5th, 2015


The Detroit Red Wings signed defenseman Vili Saarijarvi to a three-year entry-level contract.

Saarijarvi, 18, spent the 2014-15 season with the Green Bay Gamblers of the United States Hockey League, leading the team’s blueliners with 23 points (6-17-23) in 57 games. He tied for 20th overall in the league in scoring by defensemen, was named to the USHL’s Second All-Rookie Team in 2015 and participated in the 2015 USHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. The native of Rovaniemi, Finland, also represented his country at the 2015 Under-18 World Championship in Switzerland and ranked second on the team with nine points (3-6-9) in seven contests. Saarijarvi was named the tournament’s Best Defensemen after helping the silver-medal winning Finnish squad by leading all defensemen in scoring during the tournament. He also captured a spot on the U-18 WJC All-Star Team.

The 5-foot-9, 161-lb., defenseman played in his native Finland before coming to North America, registering 29 points (7-22-29) in 43 games for Karpat’s Jr. A Team and adding 40 points (8-32-40) at the Jr. B level. Saarijarvi is the first member of the Red Wings’ 2015 NHL Entry Draft class to sign an NHL contract. Additionally, his major junior rights belong to the Ontario Hockey League’s Flint Firebirds after he was selected ninth overall by the club during the Canadian Hockey League Import Draft on Monday.