COVID-19 spike in Finland shuts down leagues and top New York Rangers prospects

The rise in COVID-19 cases in Finland will force Finnish hockey leagues to postpone games. According to reports overseas, leagues such as Liiga will cease operations from December 3 to December 26.

New York Rangers prospects impacted by the shut down

The stoppage will keep Tarmo Reunanen, Lauri Pajuniemi, and Leevi Aaltonen out of action for the next three weeks. All three were playing very well leading up to this decision.

Tarmo Reunanen notched an assist and recorded five shot attempts while skating in a game-high 24:29 of ice time on Nov. 25 against Jukurit, and he tied for the game-high with seven shot attempts while skating in a game-high 24:25 of ice time on Nov. 28 against HIFK.

Lauri Pajuniemi recorded a point in each of TPS’ three games during the past week, registering three points (two goals, one assist), a plus-three rating, and 12 shot attempts during the week. The Rangers’ fifth round pick (132nd overall) in the 2018 NHL Entry Draft extended his point streak to four games (three goals, one assist), and he has also posted a plus-one rating in each of the four games. 

Leevi Aaltonen tallied a point in each of the three games he played with IPK in Mestis during the past week (one goal, two assists). The Rangers’ fifth round pick (130th overall) in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft has registered six points (three goals, three assists) in five games with IPK this season.

Tarmo Reunanen done in Finland?

Tarmo Reunanen
Reunanen in Finland (Juha Sinisalo)

With Liiga shutting down, the question needs to be asked if Tarmo Reunanen has played his last game in Finland this season? While we await word on when the 2020-21 NHL season will begin, current speculation indicates a start to training camps after Christmas.

Tarmo has already gone on record with us that he’s leaving for NY when camps open. “I have no idea about the schedule but I am ready to leave immediately when everyhting is clear and I get the call from the Rangers,” he told Forever Blueshirts in an exclusive interview. “I hope things get well as soon as possible with the current COVID restrictions and we get things started soon!

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Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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