With training camp now right around the corner, players loaned all over the world will begin to make their return to North America. For the Arizona Coyotes, that means Barrett Hayton is on his way back, his loan ended with Ilves in Finland after eight games. Hayton registered four assists in his overseas stint and will return to the Coyotes with the hopes of becoming a full-time NHL player this season.
In 20 games last year, Hayton scored one goal and four points. He was allowed to leave and participate in the World Juniors, where he captained Team Canada to a gold medal but suffered a shoulder injury in the process. When the Coyotes returned for the postseason bubble, Hayton suited up three times but failed to record a point. Selected fifth overall in 2018, the 6’1″ forward has plenty of offensive upside and a work ethic to take him far, if given the opportunity. He’ll try to take over as one of the leaders in Arizona this season.
Ilves has also announced that the loan of Juuso Valimaki has ended and the Calgary Flames defenseman will also be traveling back to North America. Valimaki played in 19 games and registered 19 points, a great sign after missing the entire 2019-20 season with injury. The 16th overall pick in 2017, Valimaki had looked ready to take on a full-time role in the NHL when he suffered a major knee injury, tearing his ACL in offseason training. He didn’t play a single game last season but after an outstanding performance in Finland, he looks ready to bounce back as if he missed no development time at all.