Jesperi Kotkaniemi will be heading back to Montreal.
The Pori Assat team announced Monday that Kotkaniemi’s loan to the Finnish SM-Liiga club has ended. That’s a sign that the Canadiens are making plans for their training camp and Kotkaniemi will be returning to Montreal to begin his 14-day quarantine before camp begins.
The start of camp is tentatively scheduled for mid-December although there are questions about whether the team will be able to practise in Montreal because the Quebec government was ordered all sporting facilities to close until Jan. 11.
The Canadiens loaned Kotkaniemi to his hometown team because they wanted the centre to get game experience and build on a strong performance in the playoffs. The 20-year-old Finn used the time between the halt of play in March and the playoffs to get stronger, and the results were evident in the playoffs. He scored four goals to tie for the team lead with fellow young gun Nick Suzuki.
Kotkaniemi played well throughout his stay in Finland, but failed to get on the scoreboard in his first three games. He finished with two goals and six assists in 10 games and leaves on a hot streak with seven points in his last five games.
Meanwhile, the Canadiens are looking for a new director of amateur scouting after Shane Churla left on Monday to take the same position with the Florida Panthers. Churla has spent the past seven years with the Canadiens, including the last four as director of amateur scouting.
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