Devils sign Finnish free-agent defenceman Anssi Salmela to NHL deal

NEWARK, N.J. – The New Jersey Devils signed free-agent Finnish defenceman Anssi Salmela on Friday.

Contract terms were not immediately available. The 23-year-old had 16 goals and 16 assists in 56 games with Tappara of the Finnish League last season. His 16 goals were tops among defencemen in the league.

Salmela had 36 goals, 42 assists and 208 penalty minutes in 226 games in the Finnish League. He played his first two seasons with Tappara, and played two with the Pelicans before returning to Tappara this past season.

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Salmela represented Finland at the 2004 world junior hockey tournament and this year’s world championship event, which was held in Quebec City and Halifax.