Every now and then, a heralded prospect doesn’t end up panning out as expected. For the Winnipeg Jets, Kristian Vesalainen has been one of the more frustrating talents to come through their system in recent memory. The first round pick known for scoring sensational goals overseas failed to find his footing in North America and never really seemed to be on-board with what Winnipeg expected out of him. The Jets ended up trying to convert Vesalainen in to some sort of power forward at the expense of his best trait; his goal-scoring ability. The result was predictably lackluster.
Vesalainen has now departed for the SHL, and if the Jets tender a qualifying offer, it’ll leave the door open for a return to Winnipeg down the road. I would honestly consider keeping Kristian on the books in case he finds himself overseas. He’s clearly a talented scorer, but neither he nor the Jets really seemed to get on together. A fresh change of scenery might just be what Vesalainen needs to jump-start his career again, and if he doesn’t want to come back to the Jets, Winnipeg can send his rights on to another squad while recouping a pick. I would class Kristian among my biggest disappointments in recent memory, but thems the breaks! We can only hope the Jets do a better job developing their forward talent down the road. They’re going to need all the elite finishing ability they can get.