42Juuso Valimaki
Photo Credit: Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports

Flames loan Juuso Valimaki to Ilves in Finland

Another day, another loan for a Calgary Flames prospect. The club announced on Tuesday afternoon, that they’ve loaned defender Juuso Valimaki to Ilves in Finland’s SM-Liiga.

Valimaki, 21, was the Flames’ first round selection back at the 2017 NHL Draft. He hasn’t played a game of consequence since April 2019 and he suffered a pretty gnarly ACL tear – that’s the medical term for it – in August 2019 that required surgery. He was on the Flames’ playoff roster but didn’t dress for any games.

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After missing basically a season and a half of the past two seasons due to injury – he had a high ankle sprain prior to his ACL injury – it’s important for Valimaki’s development that he plays, a lot. A loan to Ilves gives him a chance to do just that. For the curious, Valimaki is from Nokia, Finland and Ilves plays in Tampere, a city 20 minutes down the road from Nokia. (Nokia is basically the Airdrie to Tampere, if that makes sense.)

Once NHL camps begin, Valimaki will be recalled to North America.

Valimaki joins a growing list of Flames properties playing in Europe:

  • Ilya Nikolayev – Loko Yaroslavl (MHL)
  • Dmitry Zavgorodniy – SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)
  • Martin Pospisil – HC Kosice (Tipsport Liiga)
  • Juuso Valimaki – Ilves (SM-Liiga)
  • Johannes Kinnvall – HV71 (SHL)
  • Filip Sveningsson – MODO Hockey (Allsvenskan)
  • Eetu Tuulola – Vastervik IK (Allsvenskan)
  • Lucas Feuk – AIK (Allsvenskan)