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Winnipeg Jets 1st rounder Kristian Vesalainen signs one-year extension with HIFK

Update on the first rounder from six years ago.

Last May, Jets 2017 1st rounder Kristian Vesalainen signed with Malmo of the Swedish Hockey League. He played 15 games for Redhawks but fell out of favour and went to HIFK of Liiga. Winnipeg tendered him an offer as an RFA which meant they controlled his rights should he want to return to North America.

Kristian Vesalainen at ice level scaled

Photo Credit: Alexander James (Illegal Curve)

News broke today from his Finnish club that he has signed an extension (google translate used):

HIFK has also signed Kristian Vesalainen for the 2023-2024 season. The extension contract was announced on CMore and Sub’s broadcast before Thursday’s HIFK-Lukko match. The 23-year-old HIFK’s own student arrived in Helsinki in November and since the turn of the year has scored 5+5=10 points in 11 matches. In his career, Vesalainen has played 92 matches in the League, scoring 35+34=69 power points. He celebrated the Finnish championship in the shirt of Kärppie in the spring of 2018.

In 23 games for Helsinki he has eight goals and eight assists for 16 points.

Interesting news for a player not many expect to be back in the NHL anytime soon (if ever).