Article 13 of the CBA is the section discussing Waivers. 13.1 says that there are three kinds of waivers: Regular Waivers, Re-Entry Waivers, and Unconditional Waivers. 13.4 of the CBA has a chart explaining which young players are exempt from Regular and Re-Entry waivers. If Paajarvi (and Lander, for that matter) were to sign NHL contracts tomorrow, then according to this article they should be ineligible for waivers. However, perhaps contradicting this is Article 13.23, which says, more or less, that players who have played in Europe during the NHL season must clear Waivers before they are eligible to play in the NHL, where "NHL" is specifically written (not NHL or AHL). This section does not distinguish between the three waiver types, it merely refers to "Waivers". I think it's reasonable to guess that they mean "Regular" and/or "Re-Entry" waivers in this context, since "Unconditional" waivers seems to be a formal step taken only before completing a buyout of a player's Standard Players Contract, but it is just a guess.
My understanding of all this information suggests that Paajarvi would indeed be eligible to play in the NHL this season. And if not the NHL because of 13.23, then perhaps he's still eligible for AHL play?. Obviously you need to know with certainty before bringing him over, since losing him to waivers accidentally would be disastrous.
There would seem to be many positives in bringing him over this season.
- Get him under contract to remove any draft re-entry concerns.
- Assess his AHL and/or NHL "readiness" in that league.
- See how his game adapts to NA ice size.
- Test Paajarvi's fitness, see which areas you can maybe improve with an off-ice workout plan taliored specifically to Paajarvi.
- A chance to sit down with Paajarvi and go over the areas of his game you'd like to improve.
- Get to know him personally, introduce him to the city and people and players within the organization.
I'm sure there would be potential negatives. For one, burnout after a long season might be a concern. That said, there's no reason he'd have to play every game in the AHL or NHL; obviously you wouldn't play him more than 9 games in the NHL anyways, to avoid starting his NHL ELC. I'm not seeing a ton of downside compared to the potential upside, provided Paajarvi is interested and provided there's no risk of losing Paajarvi to waivers.