20-year-old defenceman Eemeli Rasanen, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 2017 second round pick, is heading back to North America on a professional tryout offer (PTO) with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, the team announced Friday afternoon.
— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) March 15, 2019
After playing the previous two seasons in the OHL with the Kingston Frontenacts, Rasanen decided to head overseas for the 2018-2019 season. The Finnish native told reporters at the Leafs’ development camp last summer that he was heading overseas because he needed to be playing in harder games than junior hockey.
Injuries have limited the 6’7 towering defender to 17 games this season, splitting his time between the KHL and tier-two Finnish hockey. Rasanen will join the Marlies on a PTO for the second year in a row, as Rasanen was one of the several prospects who skated with the organizations development staff during last seasons Calder Cup Championship run.
The Toronto Maple Leafs have until the end of the 2019-2020 season to sign Rasanen to an NHL contract.