Coveted Finish free agent Antti Raanta has come to terms on an agreement with the Chicago Blackhawks, according to Juha Hiitelä of Urheilusanomat. Hiitelä states that his sources are saying Raanta has chosen to play for Chicago next season.
Bob McKenzie of TSN states the sides have agreed on a one-year entry-level contract. As of this writing, Raanta and the Blackhawks have yet to comment on the report's accuracy.
Elliotte Friedman of CBC stated on Twitter that he believed this deal was completed a few days ago, but the Blackhawks didn't want to overshadow their participation in the Western Conference Final with an announcement. Raanta posted on his Twitter account last Friday that he had made a decision on what NHL team he was going to play for but did not provide the team.
The 24-year-old goaltender was being courted by several teams. The Edmonton Oilers and Minnesota Wild were both believed to be heavily involved. However, the reigning SM-liiga regular season and postseason MVP has apparently decided to join the Blackhawks.
Raanta is coming off a historic season where he registered a .943 save percentage. In terms of Chicago's goaltender situation, Corey Crawford will be entering the final year of his contract, while backup Ray Emery will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. Considering the circumstances, it seems Emery won't be retained beyond this season. Of course, that remains to be seen.