Jets’ Raffl heads back to Austria after injury-ravaged year


Thomas Raffl’s North American tour is over.

Raffl, the older brother of Philly’s Michael Raffl, has returned to Red Bull Salzburg of the Austrian League after spending last season with the Jets organization.

Raffl, 30, never got to play for Winnipeg, despite impressing during his training camp tryout and earning a one-year deal from the club.

He was dispatched to AHL Manitoba at the start of the year, with many assuming he’d eventually get a call-up to the Jets. But a series of injuries — separated collarbone, broken rib, broken jaw and, finally, an undisclosed lower-body ailments — totally prevented him from gaining any sort of momentum.

“Every time it looked like you were seeing the signs of his game as to why he was put under an NHL contract, as a big man trying to get his speed back up — he was back on the IR,” Moose head coach Keith McCambridge said, per the Winnipeg Sun.

At 6-foot-4 and 235 pounds, Raffl’s size and decent offensive production in the American League (five goals, 10 points in 31 games) had some thinking he could catch on with another NHL club.

But instead, it’s back to the Red Bull team Raffl starred for prior to coming overseas. He had great success in his home country in ’14-15 — Raffl scored 53 points in 52 games for Salzburg, then three in seven games for Austria while serving as team captain at the World Hockey Championships.

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