There have been many international prospects over the years that have turned to the NCAA to try to help get ready for the NHL or bolster their chances of getting drafted. There aren’t as many that have gone the other way but it appears that’s the case with Oilers prospect Aapeli Rasanen. The 21-year-old recently wrapped up his junior year at Boston College but Jeff Cox of the New England Hockey Journal reports (Twitter link) that the defenseman has informed the team that he’s leaving and is returning to Finland to play professionally. Rasanen grew up playing in the Tappara so it’s likely that he would rejoin that program.
- Still with the Oilers, Sportsnet’s Mark Spector notes that Edmonton is hoping to sign defensemen Markus Niemelainen and Filip Berglund. Both players were draft picks in 2016 and have until June 1st to sign their entry-level deals. Niemelainen played in 55 games with Assat Pori of the Finnish SM-liiga this season while Berglund suited up in 52 contests with SHL Skelleftea, his fourth straight year of being a regular in that league. They’re also both under contract for next season already (Berglund for two more years) but both countries have a transfer agreement with the NHL so those deals shouldn’t get in the way.
- Predators prospect David Farrance is coming off a very strong junior year with Boston University that saw him collect 14 goals and 29 assists in just 34 games. While it certainly seems as if he’s ready to turn pro, AHL reporter Mark Divver mentions (Twitter link) that the 20-year-old hasn’t yet decided whether or not to return for his senior season. With Nashville’s back end being filled with low salary players, it’s quite possible that Farrance could immediately make the jump to the NHL like Dante Fabbro (a Boston University alum) recently did.
- Canadiens prospect Jordan Harris has given a verbal commitment to return to Northeastern for his junior year, reports Sportsnet’s Eric Engels (Twitter link). Last month, GM Marc Bergevin mentioned the possibility that Harris could forego the rest of his college eligibility and turn pro but that doesn’t appear to be the plan. Harris had 21 points in 33 games this season while chipping in with a goal in five games for Team USA at the World Juniors.