The Winnipeg Jets had their first official departure in the low season of 2022 and it involves a player who is a pending limited free agent.
That player is twenty-two-year-old Kristian Vesalainen, who the Jets drafted with the twenty-fourth overall selection in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
After spending four seasons with the Jets series, the left wing has left the franchise to play in the highest Swedish hockey league, SHL.
The Winnipeg Jets’ previous election in the first round of 2017, Kristian Vesalainen, has been signed in Sweden
The Finnish-born forward has officially signed with Malmö Redhawks. According to the Redhawks announcement of the deal, his new contract is a one-year contract that covers the 2022-2023 season.
Vesalainen struggled to take the step to be a consistent figure in the Jets lineup and struggled to produce at the NHL level.
Vesalainen played in 70 games for the Jets during his four years in the franchise and had two goals, three assists and a minus-five plus / minus in his NHL career.
The most recent season 2021-2022 was Vesalainen’s most important contribution as a member of the Jets. He played in 58 games last season, but played a bottom-six role and collected two goals, an assist and a minus-eight rating. He also appeared in 17 games in the AHL for Manitoba Moose and had three goals and three assists.
During his career, he spent the entire 2019-2020 season with Moose where he had twelve goals and eighteen assists in 60 games. He was also sent on loan twice during his time with the Jets.
It will be the first time Vesalainen is back in the SHL since the 2016-2017 season. Before he was drafted, Vesalainen played 45 matches with Frölunda HC and had two goals and six assists.
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Winnipeg Jets fans: What are your first reactions to Vesalainen leaving the Jets and signing abroad? Leave your comments below!