Rangers sign 2021 draft pick Kalle Vaisanen

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Kalle Vaisanen became the latest New York Rangers draft pick to sign a professional contract when he agreed to a three-year entry-level deal Tuesday.

The 21-year-old forward was selected by the Rangers in the fourth round (No. 106 overall) in the 2021 NHL Draft. He was the fifth of eight picks the Rangers made in that draft, and the second of three selections in the fourth round.

Forward Jaroslav Chmelar, a fifth-round pick by the Rangers the same year, signed his entry-level contract last month and is playing for Hartford in the American Hockey League on an amateur tryout contract (ATO) since his Rangers contract begins next season. Chmelar has played in one game, so far, without scoring a point.

Since Vaisanen is in Finland after playing there for TPS Turku in Liiga this season, he’s not expected to join Hartford on an ATO.

Related: Rangers goalie depth chart after signing Hugo Ollas

Kalle Vaisanen latest Rangers draft pick to sign entry-level contract

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Vaisanen had nine goals and 14 points in 58 games with TPS Turku this season and four points (one goal, three assists) in nine playoff games, when they were eliminated in the quarterfinals.

The 6-foot-4, 178-pound forward had four goals and five points in 2022-23, when he played 47 games for TPS Turku.

On the world stage, Vaisanen helped Finland win a silver medal at the 2022 World Junior Championship, when he had two points (one goal, one assist) in seven games. He also represented Finland at the 2023 WJC and was named one of their Top 3 players, finishing with two points (one goal, one assist) in five games.

Vaisanen was the second Rangers prospect to sign his entry-level contract Tuesday. Defenseman Victor Mancini agreed to a two-year deal after finishing his collegiate career with University of Nebraska-Omaha. Mancini was a fifth-round pick in the 2022 draft.

The Rangers also signed goalie Hugo Ollas (2020, seventh round) last month.

Mancini also agreed to an ATO and is joining Chmelar and Ollas in Hartford to finish out the season.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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