|Born||1 June 1999,|
|6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)|
207 lb (94 kg; 14 st 11 lb)
|NHL Draft||24th overall, 2017|
Kristian Vesalainen (born 1 June 1999) is a Finnish professional ice hockey forward who is currently playing with the Winnipeg Jets of the National Hockey League (NHL). Vesalainen was drafted by the Jets in the first round, 24th overall, in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
Vesalainen originally played as a youth in his native Finland, appearing up to the Junior A level with HIFK before opting to continue his development in Sweden with Frölunda HC on 27 August 2015. Vesalainen made his professional debut at the senior level with Frölunda in the Swedish Hockey League during the 2015–16 season. After an initial loan period to return to Finland during the 2016–17 season with HPK of the Liiga, Vesalainen made his move permanent in agreeing to a one-year deal with HPK on 28 April 2017. In his first year of eligibility, Vesalainen was selected in the first round, 24th overall, by the Winnipeg Jets at the 2017 NHL Entry Draft on 23 June 2017.
In the 2017–18 season, despite his age Vesalainen impressively secured a top line role with HPK. With the club out of playoff contention and while leading the HPK in scoring with 19 goals and 39 points, Vesalainen was loaned for the remainder of the season to league leaders Oulun Kärpät on 21 February 2018. Kärpät would eventually win the Liiga championship, with Vesalainen scoring 8 points in 18 playoff games. On 26 August 2018, Vesalainen signed a three-year, $4.476 million entry-level contract with the Jets, which included an out clause that would permit him to play in Europe during the 2018–19 season if he did not make the team's roster during the training camp.
Vesalainen made his NHL debut on 4 October 2018 in a 5–1 win over the St. Louis Blues. He played 8:12 minutes of ice time and earned one assist. On 22 November, the Jets assigned Vesalainen to Jokerit of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL).
On 21 October 2020, Vesalainen returned to HPK on loan from the Winnipeg Jets, until the commencement of the delayed North American 2020–21 season.
Regular season and playoffs
|Competitor for Finland|
|IIHF World U18 Championship|
|Gold||2016 United States|
- Kristian Vesalainen player profile (Swedish) (2 November 2015). Retrieved on 2 November 2015.
- HPK announce nine new agreements (Finnish) (28 April 2017). Retrieved on 28 April 2017.
- Highly coveted Vesalainen drafted with 24th overall pick. Winnipeg Jets (23 June 2017). Retrieved on 23 June 2017.
- HPK's Palve and Vesalainen continue their seasons elsewhere (Finnish) (21 February 2018). Retrieved on 21 February 2018.
- Jets sign Kristian Vesalainen to three-year contract (26 August 2018). Retrieved on 28 August 2018.
- Vesalainen inks deal with Jets (26 August 2018). Retrieved on 28 August 2018.
- Jets, Hellebuyck handle Blues, Allen (5 October 2018). Retrieved on 5 October 2018.
- Jets reassign Kristian Vesalainen from Manitoba to Jokerit (22 November 2018). Retrieved on 24 November 2018.
- Jets assign forward Kristian Vesalainen to Jokerit of KHL (22 November 2018). Retrieved on 24 November 2018.
- HPK enters into agreement with Kristian Vesalainen (Finnish). HPK (21 October 2020). Retrieved on 21 October 2020.
- Biographical information and career statistics from NHL.com, or Eliteprospects.com, or The Internet Hockey Database
|Awards and achievements|
|Winnipeg Jets first round draft pick
|This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at Kristian Vesalainen. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Ice Hockey Wiki, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).|