Vesalainen called up

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This article was published 16/11/2018 (1288 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Vesalainen called up

Rookie forward Kristian Vesalainen was recalled by the Winnipeg Jets from the Manitoba Moose on Friday, a day after a Finnish media report indicated he was likely bolting to the Kontinental Hockey League next week to play for a team based in Helsinki, his hometown.

Vesalainen’s overseas rights were acquired by Jokerit earlier this week, a possible signal the 19-year-old was exercising a clause in his contract to return home instead of playing in the American Hockey League.

Vesalainen’s promotion blocks his departure for now. But the clause stipulates he can return to Europe at any point he’s not up with the Jets.

The timing of the recall is somewhat odd. The Moose play back-to-back games this weekend in Grand Rapids, Mich., and Chicago, and could have used Vesalainen’s services. Winnipeg, meanwhile, has an off-day today, leaves for Vancouver on Sunday for the start of four-game road trip Monday against the Canucks and doesn’t necessarily need another extra healthy forward, with Brendan Lemieux already in the press box.

Vesalainen, Winnipeg’s 2017 first-round pick, cracked the Jets’ roster out of training camp and earned one assist in five contests before being reassigned to Manitoba. He’s been with the Moose since Oct. 19, scoring three goals and adding five assists in eight AHL games. If he plays five more games with the Jets, the 10-game total burns a year of his entry-level contract for the Jets.

— Jason Bell