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Blackhawks loan Henri Jokiharju to Finland for World Junior Championship

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The 19-year-old defenseman could miss up to eight NHL games while playing in the tournament.

Calgary Flames v Chicago Blackhawks Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Blackhawks will loan defenseman Henri Jokiharju to Finland’s national junior team for the upcoming World Junior Championship, the team announced Tuesday.

The 19-year-old Jokiharju could miss up to eight NHL games as the tournament runs from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia. The preliminary round is Dec. 26 to Dec. 31 before the playoff round beings Jan. 2.

Dec. 18: vs. Predators

Dec. 20: at Stars

Dec. 21: at Avalanche

Dec. 23: at Panthers

Dec. 27: vs. Wild

Dec. 29: at Avalanche

Jan. 1: vs. Bruins (Winter Classic)

Jan. 3: at Islanders

Jokiharju has no goals and 11 assists in 32 games during his rookie season with Chicago.

Finland was third in Group A during the preliminary round last year, but were upset in the quarterfinals by the Czech Republic in a shootout. Jokiharju, who was selected with the No. 29 overall pick in 2017, had four points (two goals, two assists) while playing with Canucks prospect Olli Juolevi on the team’s second pairing.

Jokiharju will join Blackhawks prospect Ian Mitchell at the tournament. Mitchell, a 2017 second-round pick, made Canada’s team last week. The right-handed defenseman has 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in 14 games during his sophomore season at the University of Denver.

Chicago has six other prospects on preliminary rosters for their respective countries. Forwards Evan Barratt (United States), MacKenzie Entwistle (Canada) and Niklas Nordgren (Finland) and defenseman Adam Boqvist (Sweden) are all looking to make their first World Juniors tournament. Defenseman Jakub Galvas (Czech Republic) and forward Philipp Kurashev (Switzerland) both played in last year’s tournament.

Rosters must be finalized for the tournament by Dec. 25.