Sabres loan Ruotsalainen to Ilves until further notice


With the official start of the 2020-21 National Hockey League season not expected until Dec. 1 and the American Hockey League season set to get underway on Dec. 4, the Buffalo Sabres have extended the loan agreement for forward Arttu Ruotsalainen to play in Ilves of the Finnish Liiga until further notice.

Ilves made the official announcement early Wednesday morning:

Ilves ja NHL-seura Buffalo Sabres ovat sopineet keskushyökkääjä Arttu Ruotsalaisen (@ArttuRuotsalain) jatkavan Ilveksessä toistaiseksi voimassa olevalla lainasopimuksella! ---- Tiedote: #Liiga #NHLfi

— Tampereen Ilves (@ilveshockey) August 5, 2020

Ruotsalainen had an excellent season in Finland last season, scoring 15 goals and registering 28 assists for 43 points in 44 games with Ilves. The 22-year-old signed his three-year entry-level contract last summer after a 2018-19 season where he scored 42 points (21+21) in 59 games.

It was expected that Ruotsalainen would come to North America this upcoming season and compete for a roster spot with the Sabres. If he failed to make the NHL club, he would then be assigned to the Rochester Americans and continue to develop at the AHL level.

NHL training camps are expected to open for all 31 teams on Thursday, Nov. 17, as was announced back on July 10 when the NHL and the NHL Players' Association ratified the Return To Play plan and the extension of the collective bargaining agreement.

The 2020-21 Liiga season is expected to get underway this year on Thursday, Oct. 1 with Ilves' first game coming on Friday, Oct. 2 against SaiPa.