While many players and prospects were loaned overseas ahead of the unknown 2020-21 NHL season start date, few need the head start as much as Juuso Calgary Flames’ Valimaki The promising young defenseman missed the entire 2019-20 season and playoffs after suffering an ACL tear last fall Still, with five veteran defenders on the cusp of entering the free agent market, the Flames are confident Valimaki can return to form and take on a leading role on the blue line starting next season. After so much time away from the game, it will take more than just training camp to upgrade Valimaki before the new year
Cue Tampereen Ilves of Finland’s Liiga Calgary has announced that she has loaned Valimaki to Ilves for play ahead of his return to North America.Valimaki knows the club well, playing in their youth system, including a year with the ‘U-20 team in Finland’s top junior league, before making the jump to the WHL and eventually the NHL
With Ilves, Valimaki will be able to get used to playing the major minutes that the Flames can expect from him this coming season A relatively young team, Ilves only have a handful of players considerably older than Valimaki, 21 They also didn’t receive anyone on loan from the NHL before Valimaki apart from a trio of prospects – Lassi Thomson, Arrtu Ruotsalainen and Lukas Dostal – who were also on loan all last season. Valimaki will have the chance to take on a key role for the team and should be ready to go once Calgary recalled
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News from around the world – FI – Flames lend 2017 first round pick Juuso Valimaki to Finnish squad
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