When the Columbus Blue Jackets signed Veini Vehvilainen earlier this spring, it made for quite a crowded goaltending position within the organization. Even with Sergei Bobrovsky and Keith Kinkaid scheduled to leave in free agency, the team had four goaltenders under contract for next season with another—Joonas Korpisalo—expecting a qualifying offer as a restricted free agent. Out of those five, there isn’t a ton of NHL experience, making it unclear how the minor league playing time would be sorted out. Today an answer has been revealed, with Daniil Tarasov being loaned to Porin Ässät of Finland’s Liiga.
Tarasov, 20, only signed his own entry-level contract in May, ending his career in Russia after debuting in the KHL this season. Originally selected in the third round two years ago, the young netminder has plenty of development left before he can make a real impact on the Blue Jackets organization despite his impressive year. With so many minor league goaltenders in the system, Tarasov may have been forced to sit and watch more often than not, meaning a placement in Finland will get him much more playing time.
The Finnish team has announced it will be just a one-year deal, meaning the Blue Jackets will once again face this problem next spring. At least at that point they’ll have a better grasp on their goaltending situation, as there is no guarantee they even have their 2019-20 starter in the organization right now.