Thrashers lock up Kapanen to multiyear contract

Updated: July 20, 2006, 2:43 PM ET
SportsTicker

ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Thrashers gave up two players for Niko Kapanen. It wasn't surprising that they locked up the center to a multiyear contract on Thursday.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

The Thrashers acquired Kapanen along with a seventh-round pick from the Dallas Stars for center Greg Stefan and defenseman Jaroslav Modry last month.

The 28-year-old Kapanen had his best campaign with the Stars last season, recording career highs of 14 goals and 35 points in 81 games. He added one assist in five postseason contests.

Kapanen will replace Stefan, who was a bust with the Thrashers after being picked first overall in the 1999 draft. Stefan scored just 10 goals and 24 points in 64 games with the Thrashers last season.

Kapanan won a silver medal with Finland at the Torino Olympics last February, recording two goals and an assist in eight games. He also earned a silver medal at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey.

A sixth-round pick in 1998, Kapanen played in 239 games over four seasons with the Stars and recorded 20 goals and 56 assists.