The Finnish club Ilves announced this morning that they’ve reached an agreement with the Buffalo Sabres on Arttu Ruotsalainen being loaned back to Liiga until further notice.
Ilves ja NHL-seura Buffalo Sabres ovat sopineet keskushyökkääjä Arttu Ruotsalaisen (@ArttuRuotsalain) jatkavan Ilveksessä toistaiseksi voimassa olevalla lainasopimuksella!— Tampereen Ilves (@ilveshockey) August 5, 2020
Tiedote: https://t.co/Ko5PirdOKo#Ilves #Liiga #NHLfi pic.twitter.com/y4quahH7Pa
The 22-year-old forward was slated to make the jump to North America next season but this move makes sense. Liiga is scheduled to begin their regular season in October and will begin their preseason schedule this week.
Both the NHL and AHL are not slated to get underway until December. It’s likely Ruotsalainen will be called back to North America when training camp for the NHL gets underway. He’s expected to challenge for a NHL spot next season or at the very least be a key player in the AHL.
Other teams around the league are making similar decisions with their European prospects. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Sabres make a similar move with Oskari Laaksonen after he signed his entry-level contract in June.