Ilves and SaiPa have made a player exchange for the remainder of the season. Canadian defenseman Greg Moro moves to Ilves and defenseman Santeri Airola and forward Joona Korhonen join SaiPa’s ranks.
Greg Moro, 27, playing his first season in Europe, scored 7 points (2 goals, 5 assists) in 29 games in SaiPa’s shirt. In the North American professional leagues, the 193 centimeter, 93 kilogram defenseman who shoots from the right side, has accumulated 22 AHL games with 9 points (2 goals, 7 assists) and 44 ECHL games with 15 points (6 goals, 9 assists). He won the NCAA college championship in the 2018–2019 season.
Moro, who joins Ilves’ team on Friday, will wear the number 8 jersey for the rest of the season.
– We were looking for a big and powerful defenseman considering our current absences and the playoffs in mind. We negotiated with SaiPa on what terms Greg Moro would be available for rent for the rest of the season. We reached an agreement yesterday on terms that we think serve all parties, says Ilves’ sports director Timo Koskela.
– We wanted to make sure that we have a sufficient number of quality defenders at our disposal for the rest of the season and at the same time give our injured key defenders Jarkko Parikka and Dominik Mašín the opportunity and time to rehabilitate themselves and with good training before they return to the lineup.
Defenseman Santeri Airola, 22, who has spent most of the season on loan at KOOVEE, played five Liiga games and four CHL games for Ilves this season. In KOOVEE, the defender scored 22 points (8 goals, 14 assists) in 29 Mestis games.
Joona Korhonen, 20, recorded 14 points (7 goals, 7 assists) in 27 games for KOOVEE and 15 points (5 goals, 10 assists) in 12 games for Ilves U20 team. The forward played three Liiga games for Ilves this season.
Korhonen belongs to the special list of young players of Liiga teams, after being named by Ilves, which enables him to play in Mestis as well. After SaiPa’s games are over, the attacker will return to KOOVEE for the rest of the season.
– These transfers also serve the future of the players. We had already agreed with Santeri Airola and Joona Korhonen that they will not continue in Ilves in the 2023–2024 season. We thank them for their work done for Ilves and wish them all the best for the future, comments Koskela.
In addition, KOOVEE’s goaltender Samu Pakarinen, 23, became an Ilves’ contract player for the rest of the season before the transfer deadline. He will continue in KOOVEE’s team, but will be available to Ilves during the rest of the season if necessary.
– Samu Pakarinen has improved a lot and played an excellent season in Mestis. He is a good example of how the cooperation between Ilves and KOOVEE works excellently.
Sports director Koskela is satisfied with the final composition and structure of the Ilves team.
– In the deciding games of spring, usually all kinds of things happen, but we are heading towards them with great confidence. We have a good number of quality players available for each position and the team has a very good internal hierarchy and the right kind of competition for positions.