Oskar Osala, a Hurricanes prospect who has spent this season with the team's AHL affiliate in Charlotte, has reportedly signed a one-year contract with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL. (Photo by LTD)
According to Urheilulehti, a weekly Finnish sports magazine, Carolina Hurricanes prospect Oskar Osala is headed to the KHL next season, signing a one-year contract with Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Osala, who was acquired along with a second round pick exactly one year ago today in the trade that sent Joe Corvo to the Washington Capitals as a deadline rental, has 13 goals and 28 assists in 54 games with the AHL's Charlotte Checkers this season.
Mike Sundheim, the Hurricanes' director of media relations, said the team was not aware of Osala signing a contract overseas. (UPDATE at 2:30 p.m. - Sundheim says Osala and his agent confirm the report is false, Osala still wants to play in the NHL)
At a listed 6-4, 219 pounds, Osala is among Carolina's biggest forward prospects, but after a stretch of 13 games where he had 13 points, he has managed just one assist in the Checkers' last seven games. His 41 points this season is the most the Finn has had in three AHL seasons, but he has not earned a recall from Charlotte. He has played just one game in the NHL as a Hurricane, a 4-3 overtime loss on March 10 of last season against the Capitals, the team that drafted him in the fourth round in 2006.
Osala is in the final year of his three-year, entry-level deal that pays him $62,500 in the AHL. He is a restricted free agent after this season.
Below is a (rough, but understandable) Google translation of the report from Urheilulehti:
Elitserien Skellefteå, Mikko Lehtonen and the Carolina Hurricanes organization plays Oskar Osala move next season according to the magazine Sport KHL club Metallurg Novokuznetsk in rows. Both players' contract is for one year. At the same track will also HPK goalkeeper Teemu Lassila, which first reported the agreement Veikkaaja. In Russia, the trio represents the same party, and the players therefore constitutes a kind of trade package, which is KHL contracts fairly common practice. Osala or Lehtonen has not been able to hit him through the NHL, and they have become cases in limbo.