The Blues have announced that defenseman Niko Mikkola has been signed to a one year contract extension. Mikkola’s contract is at $1.9 million, which brings the Blues to $625,000 under the NHL’s salary cap according to CapFriendly.com. It’s a nice raise over his last contract, which saw Mikkola getting paid $787,500 per season for two years.
Mikkola, who was drafted 127th overall in the 5th round of the NHL Draft by the Blues, appeared in 54 games last year putting up three goals and ten assists. In his career, Mikkola has played in 89 games, all for the Blues, accumulating 4 goals and 13 assists during that time. He has been moved around the defense as needed due to injury, especially last season, but a bulk of his time was spent on the third pairing with Robert Bortuzzo.
Mikkola’s signing knocks Calle Rosen down into AHL call-up territory, and it also creates an environment where he, Robert Bortuzzo, and possibly Marco Scandella will be duking it out for the last available defensive spot on any given night. It also means that to start the season, Scott Perunovich may be starting the season with the Springfield Thunderbirds.
At the end of the 2022-2023 season, Mikkola will be a UFA, so while his payday this year for the Blues is a solid one, a season of quality play could land Mikkola more on the open market this time next year.