Finland is definitely the country of choice for theHockey Club Lugano market in view of the 2022/2023 season.
After the signing of the goalkeeper Mikko Koskinen and of the defenseman already world champion Oliwer Kaski, the HCL society has signed in these days a contract valid for the next two seasons with the Finnish forward Markus Granlund, reigning Olympic champion, who thus completes the sextet of foreign players at Chris McSorley's disposal for the forthcoming championship, composed not only by the other Finnish players Koskinen and Kaski, but also by the forwards Mark Arcobello (USA), Daniel Carr (CAN) and Troy Josephs (CAN).
Born on 16.04.1993 and educated in Oulu in the north of Finland, Markus Granlund, a centre-winger 'left' (180 cm. x 85 kg), came to attention between 2009 and 2013, when he played two U18 World Cups (a bronze medal) and two U20 World Cups with his country's national team and, not yet 20 years old, two full seasons in the SM-Liiga with a haul of 25 goals and 39 assists in 99 games with IFK Helsinki.
Drafted in the second round in 2011 by the Calgary Flames, Markus Granlund continued his career in North America where, between 2013 and 2020, he played 338 games in the NHL (102 points, 58 goals, 44 assists) with three franchises from the west of Canada, the Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers, and 109 games in the AHL (92 points, 47 goals, 45 assists) with the Abbotsford Heat, Adirondack Flames, Stockton Heat and Bakersfield Condors.
After the North American experience ended with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Markus Granlund was in the last two seasons among the absolute stars of the KHL, a league he left on the eve of the last playoffs due to the war in Ukraine, not before collecting 91 points in 91 games (31 goals, 60 assists) under the colours of Salavat Yulaev Ufa.
As mentioned, in February Markus Granlund became Olympic champion in Beijing with the Finnish national team with a +/- statistic of +6, the third best on the team.
These are the words of GM Hnat Domenichelli:
"Markus is a quality striker who can play both in the centre and on the wing. We expect him to assume an important role within the team during the next two championships. We look forward to welcoming him at Lugano for the new season".