Euro Update: Jesse Joensuu an Injured Ace, Complicating NHL Return

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After earning a one-way contract to come back into the New York Islanders fold this season, the NHL lockout conspired against Jesse Joensuu. Nonetheless, he made the most of it, signing on with Ässät of Finland's SM-liiga and producing 24 points in 20 games.

(Why, he's even on the "power rankings" radar of top 30 NHLer performances overseas.)

Now fate has thrown another wrench in his path to the NHL. According to the Ässät official site (h/t Francesca, Google Translate here), he suffered an injured hand Saturday and is expected to miss approximately two months. (Fellow NHL prospect, Buffalo Sabres pick Joel Armia, was also hurt in the game with a possible concussion.)

That not only derails his current season with the Aces, but it also complicates his readiness if the NHL is to have a season in 2012-13. Estimates vary on when a season might start if the owners and NHLPA ever come to a consensus on their toys, but few expect it could start much later than mid January.

So in any scenario, an abbreviated New York Islanders training camp would begin and conclude before Joensuu is healthy and in form. Whereas before this injury, he'd have joined Isles camp in mid-season form and riding the feeling of being a key scorer on his old squad.

His contract for this year included an out clause if he didn't make the NHL squad. If this injury shelves him for as long as originally expected, the plan will be due a revision: Either rehab time in the AHL, playing his way back with the Aces in Finland, or deferring the dream for yet another season.