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Coyotes' prospect Jan Jeník to join Finnish team

Jeník has been dealing with an ACL injury from this past year's World Juniors.

2018 NHL Draft - Portraits Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images

Today it was announced that Arizona Coyotes' prospect Jan Jeník joining a Finnish team in Europe for the foreseeable future.

Jeník is one of several NHL prospects who are playing in Europe until the return of North American hockey believed to be starting in January. Other prospects include Barrett Hayton, Victor Söderstöm, and Matias Maccelli.

Jan Jeník will be playing with Imatran Ketterä in Mestis, the second-highest Finnish league.

The Coyotes originally drafted Jeník in the third round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft. Since being drafted he has played in both the Czech Republic and the OHL with the Hamilton Bulldogs and represented the Czech Republic last year at the World Juniors.

Jeník has become one of the more intriguing prospects for the Coyotes. He didn't have a lot of hype before or after being drafted, but he impressed in camp and he looked good during the 2018-19 season when he had 13 goals and 17 assists in 27 games with the Hamilton Bulldogs.

This past season he started with the Bulldogs where he notched 22 goals and 34 assists in 27 games. He was given an “A” for the Czech team at the World Juniors but was knocked out of the tournament with a torn ACL.

This move should be a great opportunity for Jeník to continue to develop his game while the NHL and AHL are on hold. Like Hayton, Jeník can play in the AHL this season, and playing in Finland with Ketterä should be a good primer for the young forward.

The Coyotes’ poor history of drafting and development has been a big concern for a while, with players like Jeník being a sign that things may finally be turning around. Hopefully, he will get some good practice in Finland and return for a great season with the Tucson Roadrunners or possibly even the Coyotes.