With training camp fast approaching, loanees from all over the world will begin to 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 has four assists while away and will return to the Coyotes in hopes of becoming a full-time NHL player this season.
In 20 games last year, Hayton had one goal and four points. He was cleared to leave and compete at the World Junior Championships, where he led the Canadian team to a gold medal, but suffered a shoulder injury in the process. When the Coyotes returned for the playoff bubble, Hayton played three times but failed to register a point. Selected fifth overall in 2018, the 6’1″ forward has plenty of attacking upside and a work ethic to take him far, given the chance. He will look to become one of the Arizona leaders this season.
Ilves also announced that the loan of Juuso Valimaki is over and the Calgary Flames defenseman will also return to North America. Valimaki played 19 games and scored 19 points, a good sign after missing the entire 2019-20 season through injury. The 16th overall pick in 2017, Valimaki looked set to take on a full-time NHL role when he suffered a serious knee injury, tearing his ACL during offseason training. He didn’t play a single game last season, but after a stellar performance in Finland, he looks set to bounce back as if he didn’t miss any development time.