The Lahti Pelicans have loaned forward Jesse Ylönen to the Laval Rocket for the remainder of the 2019-20 season.
The Pelicans currently sit 13th of 15 teams in the Liiga with a record of 12 victories, 31 defeats, and 10 overtime or shootout defeats. The Pelicans organization, which has been under both on-ice and off-ice pressure, stated that the move was for the player’s development, and was not made due to economic factors.
“We didn’t want to be a barrier when a player is offered this chance to get used to the North American style of play and culture,” said Pelicans Sports Director Janne Laukkanen, “two years ago, Ylönen came to Lahti with clear goals, and this step ahead was exactly what he wanted.”
In his two-year Liiga career, Ylönen, the Montreal Canadiens #35th overall selection in 2018, has amassed 25 goals and 25 assists in 106 regular season games. The now-Rocket was a member of the gold-medal winning Finnish U-20 National Team at the 2019 World Junior Championships.
“My dream is to one day play in the NHL, and for this I have to do a lot of work, but this is a step in the right direction and I am excited.” said Ylönen while expressing his gratitude to the Pelicans organization for the last two years.
It is unclear at this point when Ylönen will be able to suit up in a Rocket uniform for the first time, but the move potentially bodes well for a more permanent North American stay next season.
(All quotes are courtesy of Google Translate and have been edited for clarity)
Update: EOTP European Correspondent Patrik Bexell contacted Ylönen for comment.