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Monday, January 30, 2023

Arizona Coyotes sign Juuso Valimaki to one-year contract extension

The Arizona Coyotes have announced the signing of Juuso Valimaki to a one-year contract extension. The exact terms of the contract were not disclosed by the team, but according to Elliotte Friedman the contract is worth $1 million.

« We are very pleased to sign Juuso to a one-year extension, » Coyotes general manager Doug Armstrong said. « He’s a big, strong two-way defender who’s been a great addition to our defensive corps. We can’t wait to have him on our roster next season.

Valimaki played the 2022-23 season with the Arizona Coyotes after being waived by the Calgary Flames in October. He has two goals and 12 points in 43 games at Arizona. The native of Tampere, Finland is in the final year of a two-year contract he signed with the Calgary Flames that has earned him $1.55 million a year.

Valimaki ranks seventh on the Coyotes in average ice time as a depth defenseman. He plays about 15 minutes a night on a duet with JJ Moser. As a defensive duo, Valimaki and Moser have an expected goal percentage of 54.2%, which is by far the best of the Coyotes.

Originally selected 16th overall by the Flames in 2017, Valimaki has been a big part of their future plans for many years. However, due to injuries and bad luck, he was never able to cement his place at the back of the Flames. He found himself stuck behind Rasmus Andersson, Noah Hanifin, Christopher Tanev, Oliver Kylington, Nikita Zadorov and Erik Gudbranson on the Flames depth chart.

Since arriving in Arizona, he has earned a spot on the reconstruction team. The 24-year-old defenseman is finally an everyday injury-free defenseman and the Coyotes have rewarded him with a contract extension.

In his career, he has five goals and 28 points in 125 games as well as 68 penalty minutes and a rating of -14.

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