Kicking off the list, Julius Nattinen is a 23-year-old Finnish centerman playing for JYP in the Finnish Elite League. Nattinen is a guy who once was a highly sought after prospect after putting up 71 points in 52 games with the Barrie Colts in the OHL. Drafted in the second round, 59th overall, by the Ducks, he spent a single season in the AHL before having his entry-level deal mutually terminated.
Spending the last two seasons in the Liiga, he seems to have finally gotten to the level of play scouts were expecting from him during his draft year. Producing at just over a point per game pace, he is a guy expected to sign with an NHL club this offseason.
Should the Canes be interested in his services, he would be somewhat of a Lucas Wallmark type replacement. Slotting in on the third line, he would provide the team with solid two-way play with the added ability to contribute some offense. With 33 goals this season, under the right circumstances, he could be a cheap 20 goal guy in the NHL.
Although technically under contract for a few more years, Pius Suter enters the summer with both NHL interest and an out clause in his current deal, leading many to believe he’s among those looking to make the jump. Playing for the Zurich Lions in Switzerland, he too is coming off a season where he produced at over a point per game pace.
At 23, he is a guy whose been on the radar of NHL teams for a while now. Attending a few rookie camps over the years. Listed as a C/LW he is a versatile guy who is capable of playing up and down a lineup. When you follow his young career up to this point, he appears to fit the bill as some who is a late bloomer.
Finishing this past season with the most goals and points in the entire NLA league, to go along with the best +/-, he appears to be a solid two-way guy. Playing with Nino Niederreiter for the Swiss National team on occasion, perhaps he could help sell the Canes to Suter should they be among the teams interested in his services.
The last two names on the list, Mikhail Grigorenko and Dmitrij Jaskin aren’t strangers to the league with both having well over 200 NHL games under their belt. Grigorenko, a former 12th overall pick of the Buffalo Sabres, opted to return to Russia back in 2017 after appearing in 75 games with the Colorado Avalanche.
Over the past two seasons, the 25-year-old forward has put up 93 points in 102 appearances with CSKA Moskva. As one of the top players in the entire KHL, many are expecting Grigorenko to take another shot at an NHL career this offseason with his current deal set to expire.
Jaskin, on the other hand, may end up staying in Russia for another year after signing a contract extension with Dynamo Moskva a few days ago. While there’s some belief that he too has an NHL out clause, his return to the NHL this offseason is looking unlikely.
Even after a 63 point, 31 point season in the KHL the former St. Louis second-rounder is nothing more than a depth player at the NHL level at this point. Under the right circumstances, it is possible he could put of 20 goals but that seems unlikely with his current career-high 6, set back in 17-18.