According to Bruce Garrioch of Postmedia, Jyrki Jokipakka will not be given a qualifying offer this summer by the Ottawa Senators. The 25-year old defenseman was arbitration eligible and set to become a restricted free agent, but instead will head to Europe to play in the professional ranks there.
Jokipakka was acquired by the Senators in the Curtis Lazar trade at the deadline from the Calgary Flames, but his Ottawa tenure will come to an end before it even really begins. He played just three games for the Senators down the stretch and never suited up in the playoffs. He was apparently next in line behind Erik Karlsson, but the Ottawa captain played on a fractured foot instead of sitting in the press box.
Traded twice in his North American career, Jokipakka looked like he had an NHL future somewhere. While there is no indication where he’ll play next year, the Finnish defenseman played three seasons for Ilves Tampere of Liiga in Finland before coming over to the Dallas Stars’ system. Perhaps he’ll return to his home country and try to rebuild his game.