Top prospect Eeli Tolvanen will have to wait a little bit longer to join the Nashville Predators after his KHL team, Jokerit, won the longest game in that league’s history, 2-1 against CSKA Moscow.
The game lasted 142:09, with five overtimes, before Mika Niemi scored the game-winner. Moscow still leads the series 3-2 and will have another chance to eliminate Jokerit on Saturday.
Tolvanen, 19, is eligible to join the Predators for their playoff run after Jokerit’s season ends and KHL insider Alvis Kalinins reported that Tolvanen intends to do just that. Nashville drafted him with the 30th pick in the 2017 draft, and already he is considered one of the best players not playing in the NHL.
As a rookie in the KHL, Tolvanen posted 19 goals and 36 points in 49 games this season. He really turned heads at the Olympics with Team Finland, when he opened the tournament with a four-point game and finished with nine points in five games.
In Thursday’s five-overtime epic, Tolvanen was scoreless in his 37:01 of ice time. That may sound like a lot but it was far from the game leader. Moscow’s Mat Robinson, a Canadian Olympic team defenceman, played almost a full hour (54:12) and four others also eclipsed the 50 minute mark.