At the outset of the free-agency period, the Islanders announced they had signed former prospect Jesse Joensuu to a one-year, one-way deal with a European opt-out clause. Jonesuu was selected 60th overall in the 2006 entry draft.
After having a decent few seasons in the American Hockey League with the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, Joensuu failed to provide much of an impact with the Islanders in the NHL and chose instead to play overseas for the 2011-2012 season in the Elitserien.
Joensuu headed home to the Finnish league, playing for Assat for the duration of the lockout, where he was leading the league in goals until a hand injury sidelined him for the next two months, according to Assat's official website (h/t Lighthouse Hockey).
With the NHL and Players Association agreeing to mediation today, this brings turmoil to his return to the NHL. Figuring there will be a season some time before the New Year (hopefully), Joensuu will have to sit sidelined on the injured reserve list for the time being until he can play again, and even after that one, has to wonder if it will affect his play, jeopardizing his value next season and his chances of becoming a permanent NHL-level player.
Even if he lacks a productive season, it may be a possibility he will return for the 2013-2014 season, but with the amount of prospects in the Islanders system, he may find himself being put aside to make room for up-and-comers.
This will all be determined in the end if we even have a season. It is all up in the air until then.
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