Sep 14: Luoto’s contract has been terminated and he is no longer a member of the Jets organization.
Sep 13: The Winnipeg Jets have placed Joona Luoto on unconditional waivers for the purpose of terminating his contract. Luoto had one year left on his entry-level deal but spent all of last season either in Europe or the minor leagues. Termination of his deal will make him an unrestricted free agent.
Still just 23, Luoto actually played in 16 games for the Jets during the 2019-20 season after signing out of Finland. At the time of the deal, he was an undrafted free agent who had been a champion overseas and represented some size for the Jets’ bottom-six. After failing to score a single goal in that first North American season though–in his 16 games in the NHL and his 18 with the Manitoba Moose of the AHL–it seemed inevitable that he would end up falling down the Winnipeg depth chart.
Now, after spending half of last season with HIFK, a return to Finland seems likely. The 6’3″ forward had two goals and four points in 11 games for the Moose in 2020-21, but a return to the NHL was driving further away. The termination will also free up a contract slot for the Jets, though they already had quite a few free spots.