Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s playing time back home has come to an end as Assat Pori announced on Monday that his loan from the Canadiens is now finished.
It took a while for the 20-year-old to get settled in offensively; although he had big minutes right from the start, his production was minimal early on. However, he turned a corner in recent weeks and wound up finishing with a bang, recording two goals and three assists in his final week with the team. Overall, Kotkaniemi wound up with two goals and six assists in 10 games with Pori while logging nearly 19 and a half minutes per game.
The termination of the loan suggests that the Habs believe that NHL training camps are going to begin soon. As things stand, there are no confirmed plans for next season but if the NHL is still aiming to start on January 1st, teams will need to be holding training camps by the middle of next month. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for players to travel and go through quarantining protocols and it’s likely that Montreal wanted to give Kotkaniemi a bit of a rest as well so that he wasn’t jumping directly from the SM-liiga to training camp right away.
The Habs have a handful of other prospects that are on loan but a lot of them are on the fringes of the roster and may not even attend training camp anyway. With that in mind, don’t necessarily expect several more recalls in the coming days from the team.