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Top NHL prospect Vesalainen rejects World Juniors invite, angers team

This kid clearly marches to the beat of his own drum, but is this the best move?

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Kristian Vesalainen isn’t interested in what people say about him. The 19 year old Winnipeg Jets first round selection (24th overall in 2017) does things his own way and doesn’t concern himself with what others think. 

Take the way he handled his AHL demotion earlier this season. After getting just one assist in his first five games with the Jets to start the season, the 6 foot, 3 inch, 205 pound winger was assigned the team’s AHL affiliate Manitoba Moose. In eight games with the Moose, Vesalainen put up an impressive three goals and eight points before saying, “Nah… not for me.” He subsequently left the team and signed a deal with the KHL’s Jokerit Helsinki. Now, despite being eligible to play a HUGE role for Team Finland in the upcoming World Junior Championships, Vesalainen has once again said, “Nah… not for me.”

According to a report from KHL insider Semyon Galkevich, Vesalainen will not play for Finland, electing to stay with Jokerit during the tournament.

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Hey… you gotta admit, the kid stands by his convictions. Whether or not this is indeed the best thing for his development though is another question entirely. There’s no denying that the kid has real skill and talent, but here’s hoping that his choices over the past calendar year end up paying off in the long run.