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Bruins assign Urho Vaakanainen to Providence

Urho Vaakanainen in action during a preseason game against Philadelphia.
Urho Vaakanainen in action during a preseason game against Philadelphia.(winslow townson/AP)

Rather than keep him in a suit, the Bruins want Urho Vaakanainen in a uniform.

After two games as a healthy scratch, the rookie defenseman was assigned to Providence to start his North American career in the AHL.

The injury to Torey Krug (out at least three weeks with a left ankle issue) helped extend the 19-year-old Finn’s time with the big club, and he likely benefited from a few extra practices. But games are important at this stage of his career.

Vaakanainen, who played in four preseason contests, including one in China, is in his first season stateside after competing against men in Finland’s Liiga the last three seasons. He produced 4-7—11 in 43 games and was plus-8 last year, one of his team’s most-used defensemen at age 18.

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The 18th overall pick in the 2017 draft, Vaakanainen will likely play in all situations for the P-Bruins, joining a group of young blue line prospects that includes Jakub Zboril (13th overall, 2015) and Jeremy Lauzon (52nd overall, 2015).

Providence opens its season Friday night at Hartford; the home opener is Saturday against Laval.


Follow Matt Porter on Twitter at @mattyports