The last-place Chicago Blackhawks will be without one of their top defensemen for a while after they decided to loan Henri Jokiharju to Finland for the upcoming world junior championship.

The 19-year-old Jokiharju has no goals and 11 assists in 32 games in his first NHL season. Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton says he thinks the move will help Jokiharju’s long-term development. The world junior championship runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

The Blackhawks also activated forward Artem Anisimov and defenseman Gustav Forsling from injured reserve. Anisimov had been sidelined by a concussion, and Forsling was out with a shoulder injury.

Chicago hosts Nashville on Tuesday night. It’s the first game for the Blackhawks since they placed starting goaltender Corey Crawford on IR after he suffered a concussion for the second straight season.

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Source: The Associated Press

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