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The Canadiens are not ruling out Kotkaniemi cracking the Opening Night roster after the Finn thoroughly impressed in the team's development camp.

While he's just 18 years old, Kotkaniemi signed a three-year, entry-level contract with the Habs when the free-agency signing period opened July 1. Plus, the power pivot already will be invited to training camp. "He got better every day, so we're going in with an open mind," GM Marc Bergevin said. "I don't know, but just the fact that he's signed and he's coming to camp and he's closer to the NHL. Where he's going to be Oct. 1, I can't tell you, but we see a lot of potential and growth in this young man." If Kotkaniemi needs more time to develop before hitting the big stage, look for him to start out with AHL Laval.

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