More than 200 locked-out NHLers are playing in Europe during the lockout, including the Canadiens’ Lars Eller, who has four goals (five including shootouts) and two assists in four games with Finland’s SM-Liiga’s JYP Jyväskylä Oy, the defending champion in the 14-team league. Eller is seeing plenty of ice as JYP’s first-line centre, coach Jyrki Aho using him at even strength, on the power play and the penalty kill.
“It’s a lot of fun, getting that kind of playing time,” Eller, who averaged 15:19 in 79 Canadiens games last season, scoring 16 goals and adding a dozen assists, told The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs. “So it’s up to me to produce and hopefully that’s going to turn into more wins for our team.”
Eller and his wife Julie (with him in photo above) had their first child about six weeks ago.
You can read Stubbs’s column on Eller by clicking here.
Meanwhile, the Boston Bruins’ Tyler Seguin is lighting up the Swiss league with EHC Biel. The 20-year-old has 20 goals in 20 games.
”I had no idea what to expect when I came to Switzerland,” he told the Tages-Anzeiger newspaper. “The league is very competitive — the speed and the talent level of the players has surprised me. It took me some time and effort to get used to it.
”Scoring goals is never easy; I didn’t do very well at the beginning. Now I just hope to continue playing well like I have been lately.”
You can read more about NHLers in Europe by clicking here.
(Photo by Michelle Berg/The Gazette)