Connect with us

Panthers Prospects

Florida Panthers sign Tappara defenseman Santtu Kinnunen to ELC



Florida panthers
Florida Panthers prospect Santtu Kinnunen signed his entry-level contract with the team on Monday. — Photo courtesy @FlaPanthers

CORAL SPRINGS — The Florida Panthers signed 2018 seventh-round pick Santtu Kinnunen to an entry-level contract on Monday.

The 6-2, 161-pound defenseman won the Liiga Championship with Tampere Tappara in the 2021-22 season.

Sasha Barkov, a Tempere native and part owner of Tappara, was watching his team’s championship run closely.

Get FHN+ today!

“Over the last few years, he has been stepping up a lot in his game,” Barkov said.

“The physical part, the mental part, he’s becoming a leader on the defense for that team. It’s been fun to watch them ever since he got there and you can see him growing in height and in being a leader.

“He’s physical too. He’s really good with the puck, he makes really good plays on the power play, he has a good shot, he’s a good passer, so I’m excited for him.”

Kinnunen, 23, had 23 points in 54 games during the 2021-22 season, adding two assists in 13 playoff games en route to a championship.

“Santtu is a talented defenseman who has proven himself playing professionally in Finland with Tappara Tampere,” Panthers GM Bill Zito said in a statement.

“We look forward to watching him further his growth and development as he transitions to hockey in North America.”




  • Game 1: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
  • Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise  
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN2
  • Radio: WQAM 560, SiriusXM
  • Tickets: CLICK HERE
  • Season series — Florida won 2-1: @Florida 5, Washington 4 OT (Nov. 4);  @Washington 4, Panthers 3 (Nov. 26); @Florida 5, Washington 4 (Nov. 30)
  • All-time regular season series: Capitals lead 67-44-11, 9 ties
  • Playoff history: None
  • First-round schedule — Game 1: Washington at Florida, Tuesday, 7:30 (ESPN2/BSF); Game 2: Washington at Florida, Thursday, 7:30 (TBS/BSF); Game 3: Florida at Washington, Saturday, 1 (ESPN/BSF); Game 4: Florida at Washington, May 9, 7 (TBS/BSF); Game 5*: Washington at Florida, May 11; Game 6*: Florida at Washington, May 13; Game 7: Washington at Florida, May 15. *If necessary 

Get FHN in your inbox!

Be the first to know. Enter your email to get the latest from Florida Hockey Now delivered straight to your inbox.

FHN on Facebook

Panthers Team & Cap Info


Would love your thoughts, please comment.x

Get all the Florida Panthers news that's fit to print.

Sign up today and get all the best from Florida Hockey Now delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

No thanks. I don't want.