The Maple Leafs’ 7th round selection in the 2019 draft is set to continue his career in Finland after making the jump across the pond to play for the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves for the 2019-2020 season. It is expected that 19 year old defenceman Kalle Loponen will re-join Karpat in Finland’s top professional league whenever they begin play next season.
Sudbury Wolves have protected G Frederik Dichow ahead of Tuesday's #CHLImportDraft, as well as F Matej Pekar on an overage list. D Kalle Loponen intends to play in Finland next season and Wolves have released his rights. They'll make two picks on Tuesday. #ohl— Ben Leeson (@ben_leeson) June 25, 2020
The 5’11 right handed defenceman had a solid debut season in North America, registering 6 goals and 18 assists in 56 games for Sudbury. 17 of those points came on the power play where his heavy point shot became a consistent weapon over the course of the season.
ICYMI!! 🤩 #25 Kalle Loponen Wolves lead 3-2 pic.twitter.com/PQMxxCHHWW— Sudbury Wolves (@Sudbury_Wolves) November 2, 2019
After a decent showing against his peers in the OHL, Loponen will look to continue his development playing against older and tougher competition. Opportunities will be harder to come by for him in Liiga than they were in the OHL and he’ll have to make the most of whatever minutes he’s able to earn as he hopes to remain on the Maple Leafs radar moving forward.