Justin Braun is heading back to North America after fracturing his hand, according to Matias Strozyk of Elite Prospects. He had been playing with the Finnish squad Tappara Tampere.
Although it’s not clear how much time Braun will need to recover from his injury, it’s worth noting that if the lockout ends soon and he’s not healthy, he could be in a bit of a messy situation.
Based on the NHLPA’s pre-lockout memo, the San Jose Sharks will be able to suspend him without pay until he’s capable of playing if he’s not healthy by the end of the lockout.
Before the work stoppage, Braun was projected to make $1 million in the first season of his three-year, $3.75 million deal with the San Jose Sharks. He earned that deal after establishing himself with the Sharks and logging an average of 16:33 minutes per game through 66 contests in 2011-12. His ice time ballooned to 17:55 minutes per game in the playoffs.
He had three assists in six SM-liiga games before leaving the country.