With loans to Europe getting more and more common with plenty of delays in North America, the Arizona Coyotes will be sending forward Barrett Hayton, the fifth overall pick in 2018, to Finland to play in the Liiga for Ilves, according to Coyotes beat writer Craig Morgan and confirmed (translation required) by Ilves themselves. While many of the most recent loans to Europe have been for the entire season, Morgan adds that this is a loan until the NHL training camp begins.
Hayton is definitely a player that would want to take advantage of getting in some early work before the 2020-21 season begins. Hayton had a rough 2019-20 season, playing 20 games with the Coyotes last season. The 20-year-old played 14 games before the World Juniors, however, with limited playing time with Arizona. He then was released to join Team Canada where he dominated scoring six goals and 12 points in seven games, leading Canada to the gold medal.
However, that’s where things went south as he injured his shoulder in the tournament and didn’t return to the Coyotes until Feb. 20 where he only appeared in six games before the season was suspended due to the coronavirus. He did make three playoff appearances with Arizona, but still didn’t earn significant minutes.
The forward could be a key to the Coyotes future if he can earn himself a full-time role with the team next season. However, a stop in Finland could give him some extra-needed playing time. He will be playing alongside division rival Juuso Valimaki of the Calgary Flames on Ilves.