The Carolina Hurricanes have announced that forward Aleksi Saarela will not be attending the NHL Prospects Tournament in Traverse City, Michigan, due to recently undergoing minor surgery.
Saarela, 19, will miss the yearly prospect tournament however he is not expected to be sidelined for a lengthy period of time. As is routine, his return is contingent on when he is medically cleared. According to the Carolina Hurricanes press release he could be medically cleared in time to still be able to attend the Hurricanes training camp, which is set to start on-ice practice on September 23rd.
The 5’11, 198-pound forward was acquired by the Hurricanes as part of the assets package the received in return for Eric Staal.
A native of Helsinki, Finland, Saarela was selected in the third-round, 89th overall, by the New York Rangers in the 2015 NHL Draft. The Hurricanes signed the Finnish forward to his three-year, entry-level contract back in June.
In 117 career Liiga (Finnish Elite League) contests Saarela has scored 27 goals and recorded 49 points and amassed 34 penalty minutes. After playing the last two seasons with Ässät he is set to return to Lukko where he played U16-U20 previously.
Saarela was part of the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship (WJC) gold medal winning Finnish team, which won on home ice in Helsinki, Finland.