UPDATE: This move is now official
#NHLJets have reassigned forward Kristian Vesalainen from Jokerit of the KHL to the @ManitobaMoose.— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) March 15, 2019
Vesalainen, 19, played five games with the Jets to start the season.
DETAILS ➡ https://t.co/aPLuwixp1h pic.twitter.com/wam4Fc1xTr
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.
#NHLJets prospect Kristian Vesalainen's season in #KHL is over. Dynamo Moscow vs Jokerit 6-2 (5-0 after 1st period). Dynamo wins the series 4-2. Vesalainen 13th forward, played only 10 shifts, TOI 6:28.— Pekka Jalonen (@PekkaJalonen) March 7, 2019
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.