Ilari Melart(22) Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk

Ilari Melart

Columbus Blue Jackets‘ undrafted, large-sized Finnish-born rookie defenseman Ilari Melart(22) has decided to pack his bags and move his game “on loan” to the KHL joining Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk for the remainder of the 2013/2014 season.

The 6’4″ 227 lbs. blue liner was playing on reassignment with minor league affiliate Springfield Falcons. In 24 AHL games, he netted one goal and two assists but connecting on the score sheet has yet to really become part of his impact.

Through four pro seasons with HIFK in SM-Liiga, he never put up big numbers but was always a leader in penalty minutes and never shies away from the rough stuff, playing a very defensive-minded game.

Signed to a 1-year entry level deal with the Blue Jackets, it’s a bit doubtful they will qualify him to keep him around but the still young 24-year old might be better suited for pro hockey closer to home.

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