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Kristian Vesalainen returns to Winnipeg

The young Finn is expected to play with the Manitoba Moose.

Kristian Vesalainen plays with the Manitoba Moose on October 19, 2018 at Bell MTS Place in Winnipeg, MB.
Jonathan Kozub/Manitoba Moose

UPDATE: This move is now official

After a lacklustre end to his KHL season, Kristian Vesalainen is returning to Winnipeg, and will likely finish the season with the Manitoba Moose.

While playing on the third line for Jokerit of the KHL for most of the year, Vesalainen put up six goals and 11 assists in 31 regular season games.

However, his playoff performance left much to be desired, and he found himself dressing as the 13th forward in Jokerit’s final game of the year. He scored just one goal in six playoff games.

At the moment, I am not certain about Vesalainen’s playoff eligibility, should the Manitoba Moose make the post-season. But based on his eight points in eight AHL games earlier this year, his presence should be very welcome for a Moose team that has struggled offensively.

The odds of him playing for the Winnipeg Jets this season/playoffs have to be seen as long. Not only do the Jets appear to have their forwards corps set, but if Vesalainen plays five more games, a year of his contract will be burned off, rather than sliding over.